University of Minnesota

Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from Plymouth Middle School 2004

Plymouth Middle School
10011 36th Ave N
Plymouth, MN 55448

Year: 2004
Teacher(s): Doug Paulson, Sandi Anderson

A-Mazing Monarchs - Can a Monarch Butterfly be Taught to Go Through a Maze?

Allison T, Rachel T

We designed a maze and put monarch butterflies in it. We wanted to see if a monarch would go through a maze. We did this to see if monarchs have common sense. We found that monarchs went through the maze, and that females did it faster than males. All of our monarchs made it through the maze. An uncertainty that exists is that we did our tests on days with different temperatures, and we don't know if that might have influenced how long it took them. We would like to have had more data. We did test each day. We learned that monarchs can get through a maze, and that it appears females can do it faster.

Clear to Land!

Zach N

The question I asked was "Do monarchs prefer natural or unnatural surfaces?" My purpose was to see if monarchs are smart enough to distinguish the differences between natural and unnatural surfaces. I tested 28 monarchs.

Crazy or Calm. Are Monarchs More Active in the Light or the Dark?

Mary S, Lauren J

   In this experiment we tested whether monarchs were more active in the dark or the light.  We tried to find a difference between how monarchs act in the dark and how they act in the light.  We found that they are more active in the light and seem calmer in the dark.  When we were testing what monarchs did in the dark, my sister was also in the room.   We learned that monarchs were more active than we thought. 

Do Monarchs Like Natural or Artifical Flavors Better?

Thomas D, Hannah C

In our experiment we tried to find out what the monarchs preferred the most: natural or flavored juice. We tried to find out what they liked to eat the best. We found out that they preferred natural juice over artificial juice. One uncertainty is that other students gathered data and marked tallies for us. Two things we learned are that monarchs prefer to eat natural juices, and that caterpillars have two different types of legs.

Do Monarchs Prefer Fruit or Fruit Juice?

Natalie S

In my experiment I wanted to find out if they liked fruit or fruit juices best. We were trying to see which they liked better. They liked the grape the best, and they liked orange juice better for the juice. We found that they seemed to like fruits and juices about the same. Our conclusion is that they seem to like both fruits and fruit juices. The data was recorded by many different students but my partner and I found our own data. We all used the same procedure and all counted that eating occurred when the proboscis was in the food five seconds or longer. Two new things I learned are that their proboscis is like a straw. The other thing is that they come out of a chrysalis faster if they are in warmer territory.

Does the Temperature Influence How Fast the Caterpillar Grows?

Reba J

In my experiment I was trying to find out if larva grew faster in warmer or colder temperatures. I measured the length of the monarch larva raised in different temperatures. I found that the larva raised in warmer temperatures grew faster than the larva in colder temperatures, and that the larva in the warmer temperatures grew larger before they became a chrysalis. I am not sure if light influenced the larva. They didn't all get the same type of light. I learned that the larva aren't the same size when they go into their chrysalis, and that larva are larva for about three weeks.

Glittery Moving Monarchs - or How Many Small Objects Can a Monarchs Wing Move?

Joey S, Tyler E

In our experiment we measured the force of a breeze created by a monarch.  We looked at the amount of glitter blown out of a circle.  Then we compared the amount each gender blew out.  Our purpose was to prove that adult monarchs can move small objects with the power of their wings.  Glitter and styrofoam were considered small objects in our experiment. The results showed that there wasn't any correlation between gender, wing size and the amount blown outside of the circle.  The only uncertainty in our project was that a monarch might not have taken off and flown in the same direction.   Two new things we learned are that monarchs are capable of moving small objects, and the data varies with the direction they flew or the upward force of the wing.

How Does the Gender Affect the Relationship of Monarchs?

Laura G

In my experiment I wanted to discover if one male and one female would react to each other better than two females when they were put in the same cage.  When I was recording my results, I was looking for the behaviors of flying away from each other, flying towards each other, or staying still.  My hypothesis was that 2 females were going to react to each other better.  When I finally collected all of my data, it showed that 2 females actually did react to each other better than one male and one female.  The results for 2 females together were that 6 sets flew toward each other, one set flew away, and 2 sets stood still.  When one male and one female were put together in the same cage, 10 sets few away, 3 sets flew towards each other, and 5 sets stood still.  My hypothesis was definitely supported.  Altogether, I tested 27 monarchs, but I wish I would have tested more females together.

How Much do Monarch Butterflies Weigh?

Collin H, Chad R

In our experiment we wanted to find out how much monarch butterflies weigh.  We were trying to figure out if male or female monarchs weigh more. We found that the females weigh more. Of the monarchs we tested the average weight of the male was .50 grams, and the average weight of the females was .53 grams. We may have some uncertainty in our data because we only used 30 monarchs. I thought that male monarchs would weigh more, but in fact females do.  Another thing I learned is that there is a wide range of weights.

Monarch Munchies - Do Monarch Butterflies Like Juices or the Actual Fruit Better? by;Emily Jaeger and Halle Foss

Emily J, Halle F

In our experiment we measured how much weight the monarch butterflies gained.  We were trying to figure out if the monarchs would gain more weight by eating actual fruit or the fruit juices. Our results were that the monarchs gained more weight by eating the fruit juices.  Our conclusion that they gained more weight by eating fruit juice could have been inaccurate because we didn't collect enough data.  We learned that the monarchs preferred (gained more weight) with the fruit juices and that not all butterflies eat the same amount or the same foods.

Monarch, Get Your Groove On!

Julia B

I chose to do a project on how monarch butterflies react to rap, classical, and rock and roll music.  I tested 25 butterflies, three times each with the different musics.  In rap, I found that 23 butterflies were active and 2 were non-active.  In classical, 22 butterflies were active and 3 were not.  In rock and roll 13 were active and 12 were not active.  Active means to fly around for 2 or more seconds.  I had a boom-box and kept the volume constant throughout my experiment.  I held up the boom-box to the monarch for 10 seconds while I observed them.  I had fun doing my experiment, and I would like to do other things with monarchs in the future.

Over the Last Eight Years, Have there been More Male or Female Monarchs?

Kate K, Lauren D

In our experiment, my partner and I looked back at the past eight years of data (including 2004) from monarchs raised at our school - or observed during tagging.  We counted how many male and female monarchs there have been. We were trying to look for patterns in the number and percentages of both monarch genders.  We found that there were more females than males in the past eight years.  We may have received data that was not accurate (students made note of male and female genders).  We may have miscounted.  We also mostly counted monarchs raised from the University of Minnesota labs. It might be that monarchs laying eggs in this situation may lay more of one gender than the other.  We would liked to have gotten more data from other schools or labs.  We have learned that doing tests, and collecting and analyzing  data is not always the easiest. We also learned how to tell male and female monarchs apart.

Would You Like Your Apple Cidar Warm or Cold Monarch Butterfly?

Audrey G

For the past couple of months, I have been studying whether the monarchs preferred warm apple cider or cold apple cider.  My sample size was 34.  Sixteen monarchs preferred warm apple cider, 9 monarchs preferred cold apple cider, 5 responded to both, and 2 responded to neither.  The purpose of the experiment was to find out whether the monarchs selected warm apple cider or cold apple cider. To find out which temperature the monarch chose, I would count for 4 seconds and if their proboscis was in the juice that long, it counted for my results.

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