University of Minnesota

Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from Plymouth Middle School 2006

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

Year: 2006
Teacher(s): Chantell Phillips, Sandi Anderson

Are the dots and veins on every monarch the same?

Michael L

I noticed that all monarchs seem to be the same color with the same pattern.  I found out there was some difference in sizes of their wings.  From those observations, I began to wonder if they all had the same number of veins and the same number of dots.  I took some of the monarchs in our classroom and some monarchs that had died other years, and counted their dots and veins.  The data supported the hypothesis that each monarch is an individual when it comes to veins and dots.

Like the tortoise and the hare - larva or adults?

Connor M

I tested caterpillars and butterflies going through a maze.  I put food at the end of one of the tunnels.  The caterpillars were fastest overall finding the food.  Both butterflies and caterpillars did better and found the food faster in the light than in the dark.

Monarchs and how they respond to noise.

Megan T, Kay P, Raina D

We studied the monarchs in our classroom and wondered if the noise going on in there had any influence on the monarch behavior.We tested monarchs in noisy rooms and quiet rooms. We wanted to find out if they acted any different when they were in pure quiet.We found  that in the noisy room monarchs fly and eat freely - a lot more movement. In the quiet room they stayed still or crawled on the side of the cage.

Motivating a Monarch - Maybe

Spencer W

We observed that monarchs ate many types of juices and wondered if they could find food we put at the end of a maze.  The first test we conducted was just putting a light at the end.  When we tested the butterfly during the second trial, we turned the light off and put food at the end of the maze. We then observed whether or not they found the food and if they did, which food they chose.  We found they liked the apples the best.  We also found that the light made them more active.

What color of light attracts monarch butterflies the most?

Michael M

As I watched monarchs in our classroom I saw that they are attracted to the light.  I was trying to figure out if the color of the light would make a difference.

I used a butterfly tent and some monarch butterflies, as well as a lamp with different colored light bulbs. The light bulb colors available to me were White, Black, Blue, and Orange. I turned on each light bulb one at a time and I observed the butterfly’s activities with each color. I was attempting to see if any color of light either attracted or repelled the butterflies, or if the color of light affected their behavior in any way. I found out that the color of light in the tent made a difference in the butterflies behavior and activity.

Which beverage will Monarchs prefer?

Colleen L, Jana B, Zachary G, Marissa A, Jenna K

Jana Blasko

In our experiment we wanted to know if monarchs prefered Diet Snapple or Limeade. We tested this with 12 different monarch butterflies. We also checked to see if it was a male or a female by the thickness of their vains.  We used cotton balls to put the Diet Snapple and Limeade on so the monarchs could stick their proboscis in the cotton ball to eat it if they like it. We then recorded our answers and repeated this with all of our butterflies.


Jenna Kelly

   In class we did an experiment my partner and I tested to see which izze was the biggy among the monarchs. 12 out of 20 butterflies survived. Out of the survivers, only a few flew with perfect wings. 4 butterflies liked clementine izze and 5 liked pomegranite izze, proving my prediction right. We might have been confused with some butterflies to whether they liked the beverages or not, but I think that izze isn't a favorite because of the pop-like fizz.


Colleen Larson

   In my experiment I tested to see if monarch butterflies prefer Strawberry pop or Pepsi better. I did my experiment by mixing strawberry pop with water on a cotton ball. Then I put it in the butterfly cage with the cotton ball on a Petri dish. If the butterfly started to drink the pop I put a yes in my data chart. If it didn't I put a no. Then I repeated this with the Pepsi and compared my yes's and no's. In my data chart I found that over half of the monarchs had one yes (did like on of the beverages) and one no (didn't like the other beverage). After the whole experiment was over I found that monarchs prefer Pepsi over Strawberry pop. I think this is because the Pepsi had more sugar in it than the Strawberry pop.




We wanted to find out if monarch butterflies prefer Pepsi or Strawberry pop.




I think the monarchs will like Pepsi better than Strawberry pop.




  1. Get a bottle of CAFFENE FREE Pepsi.
  2. Get a Petri dish and a cotton ball.
  3. Pour 1 table spoon of Pepsi into the Petri dish and pour ½ teaspoon of water into the Petri dish.
  4. Take ONE cotton ball and soak up all the liquids.
  5. Go to a butterfly cage place the Petri dish in the bottom of the cage.
  6. GENTLY pick up the butterfly (wings closed) and place it on the cotton ball.
  7. Hold the butterfly on the cotton ball for at least 5 seconds, if the butterfly doesn't respond the 1st time, try it 2 more times.
  8. If the butterfly likes the drink its proboscis goes into the cotton ball. Count to 5 and if it is still drinking it write down that it likes it on your data chart.
  9. If after 5 seconds on the 3rd try, GENTLY pick up the butterfly (wings closed) and remove it from the cotton ball.
  10.  Remove Petri dish from cage, close the cage and eventually try all the butterflies you have.
  11. When done throw away your cotton ball and repeat steps 1-11, but this time using Strawberry pop.




We found that monarchs prefer Pepsi over Strawberry pop. This is probably because Pepsi has more sugar in it.




We found that my hypothesis was correct. The butterflies did prefer Pepsi over Strawberry pop.


What I Would Change


I would have wanted to have more butterflies to do this experiment so it would be more accurate. Another thing I would have done differently is that me and my partner would do this experiment on one day, then the next set of partners, ect. That way the monarchs wouldn't get mixed up. Even if we didn't do that we should have tagged them so we know what butterfly went in what cage.   






Zaachary Gibbs


For our experiment we wanted to see if maonarch butterflies prefer one pop more than another. For my particular experiment I used Faisha Delight and Root Beer. In all, our class had twelve monarch butterflies(seven males and five females). We put a tray with a cottonball soaked in whatever pop we were using (Faisha Delight or Root Beer). We would hold the butterfly there for five seconds and see if would stick out its proboscis into the cottonball (we used cottonballs so its like sticking its proboscis into a flower). If the proboscis didn't go in we did this two more times before confirming it didn't like it. The only problem in this experiment was that the monarchs who didn't like it might just be full because of the people who fed them before us. The result for the experiment is that six monarchs liked Root Beer and six didn't. For Faisha Delight seven liked it while five didn't. After the experiment my conclusion is they liked light pops more than dark pops although this may be inacurate information.   

Will Monarchs prefer _________over __________?

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