University of Minnesota

Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from Skyview Community School 2002

Skyview Community School
1100 Heron Ave N
Oakdale, MN 55128

Year: 2002
Teacher(s): Lori Forkner

Bon Appetit

Emily A

First, I put five different liquids into bowls and put leaves in the bowls.  I put four teaspoons of sugar, salt, cinnamon, milk, and lemon juice in two cups of water.  Then, I let the leaves sit in the liquids for six hours.  My experiment is putting liquids on the leaves and looking at which leaves the caterpillars like the most.  The caterpillars liked the cinnamon, sugar, milk, and lemon juice; they did not like the salt.  I learned that caterpillars prefer sweet things over salty things.  Caterpillars will eat leaves even if they have other substances on them.

Caterpillar Leaf Preference

Ingrid N

In my experiment, I put six monarchs in a cage with one big milkweed leaf and one small leaf.  Then, I decided to put two of each leaf in the cage each day.  I took pictures of the leaves in the morning and then again in two and three days.  I wanted to find out do they prefer large or small milkweed leaves?  I found out that they dont really care that much.  Because once they finish they just start eating the one that is left.  Some of the things that I could have controlled that went wrong were that the chrysalis got smooshed.  One of the chrysalides fell down.  I learned that caterpillars like to start at the top of the milkweed leaves and munch down.  I also learned that they like to be on the bottom of the leaves.

Counting Chrysalis Color Choices

Kaylea B

In my experiment, I taped up eight different colors of construction paper to the top of a butterfly cage.  I used red, orange, pink, white, black, green, purple, and blue.  Each color took up an equal amount of space.  I put 16 larvae in the cage and fed them everyday.  Once they made their chrysalis, I recorded what color they picked.  I wanted to find out if the color of an object affects where the caterpillars make chrysalides.  I found out that the color affects it somewhat, but no drastically.  Most of the larvae chose pink, orange, and white which were the lightest colors. Unfortunately, a bunch of my caterpillars had a disease.  Most of them died while they were in their chrysalides.  However, they were still counted in my results because they had made their choice.  Three of them died before they went to the top of the cage, so they were not counted.  In the end, we only had four monarchs who survived. Ive learned from this experiment that monarch caterpillars usually make their chrysalis on bright colored objects.  Ive also learned that monarchs are generally weaker and smaller when they are born later in the season.

Creative Color Choices

William S

In my experiment, I had to raise two monarch caterpillars to adulthood.  Then, I put three different color sponges in the cage with honey water on them and watched to see which one they drank from.  I wanted to find out what color sponge they prefer.  I learned that the butterflies like the yellow sponge the best.  I wasnt sure why they were asleep most of the day and if that affected their eating.  I learned that they seem to like yellow so they might go to a yellow flower in nature.  I also learned that they dont like to be kept in cages.

Drip, Drip, Drench

Melissa S

First, I put the different liquids into the cups with the cotton balls and one cotton ball on a plate with a caterpillar.  I looked through a magnifying glass and I updated their reactions.  I did this with two other caterpillars.  I was testing to see what reaction does a caterpillar have when touched with different liquids.  The caterpillars all did not like the vinegar.  The caterpillars never all had the same reaction to the same liquid.  Why did a caterpillar have no reaction to the ice cube?  I learned that caterpillars have different reactions to different liquids.  Not all caterpillars have the same reactions to the same liquids.

Male and Female Preferences

Kyle E

In my experiment, I put five monarch larvae in a plastic cage and raised them to become butterflies.  I wanted to know how many male and female monarchs I would have.  I had two females and one male.  Two of my larvae died.  I was unsure why one of the larvae died, and one died in his pupa.  I learned that they have a better chance of being a female.  I learned that butterflies can come out of their pupa crippled, and they like red berry juice.

Nectaring Monarchs

Elizabeth D

In my experiment, I put five monarch butterflies in a cage and put three different colored sponges with berry juice in them.  I watched them twice a day for ten minutes to see which color sponge they like to nectar from the most.  I wanted to find out if different color sponges affected their nectaring.  I found out that different colored sponges do not affect their nectaring preference.  Maybe some of the sponges had more or less juice then the other sponges.  I learned that different colored sponges do not affect their nectaring.  I also learned that when the butterflies nectar they close their wings together and they have something called a proboscis which is like a straw that sucks the juice out of the sponge.

Picky Monarch Caterpillars

Kelsey W

In my experiment, I had four leaves and put three different types of liquids on the leaves, one of my leaves had nothing on it.  I put the leaves in my container with my three caterpillars and watched to see which they preferred.  I wanted to find out if they liked a plain leaf, Kool-Aid leaf, orange juice leaf, or an apple juice leaf better.  I found out theyre favorite was the plain leaf then the apple juice leaf and next the Kool-Aid leaf; they didnt eat any of the orange juice leaf.  I wasnt sure if I put too much liquid on some leaves, or if the smell from the orange juice leaf affected it or maybe that it was starting to rot.  I learned that caterpillars prefer plain leaves, and when caterpillars come out of their chrysalides liquid comes out.

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