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Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from Susan Lindgren Intermediate Center 2004

Susan Lindgren Intermediate Center
4801 West 41st Street
St. Louis Park, MN 55416

Year: 2004
Teacher(s): Mike Farrell

Fresh or Frozen

Jon N, Nick J

In our experiment we fed monarch caterpillars fresh and frozen milkweed and then measured how many square centimeters were eaten of each leaf of fresh or frozen milkweed. We wanted to find out if monarch caterpillars would prefer fresh or frozen milkweed. We found that our monarch caterpillars ate more of the fresh milkweed than the frozen milkweed. Our evidence supported the hypothesis that monarch larva have a preference for fresh over frozen milkweed. An uncertainty that we had was the first time we froze the milkweed it wasn't very frozen. We also wonder if it could be the larva instars that were affecting the data on our test of fresh or frozen. We learned that the monarch caterpillars preferred fresh milkweed. But we thought that the larva would like the frozen better than the fresh.


Light or Dark?

Kelsey R, Berg H, Zack K, Nicole R, Alex S

In this experiment we looked at how soon monarch larva went into the chrysalis stage in both a light and dark environment. Our group was trying to figure out whether a light or dark environment effected monarch larva growth speed. We wanted to find this out because it would help kids next time they raise monarchs. Our results showed that there was not a big difference, but the larva that was in the dark environment went into the pupa stage slightly before the light environment larva. Our data supports our null hypothesis because there was only a slight difference. A few of the larva died unintentionally. It would be interesting to continue to keep the monarchs in light and dark environments in their adult stage. We learned that accidents can happen easily and variables are harder to control then we thought.


Light vs Dark

Charlie M, Andy B, Neil M

In our experiment we observed monarchs developing in light/dark environments. The purpose of our experiment was to see if monarchs devloped into adults from the 5th instar faster in a light or dark environment. We took two containers with 5 fifth instars in each. We put one container with little light and the other with light. We took the temperature in both containers in degrees Celsius every day and made observations. It seems that the monarchs grew into chrysalises faster in the light enviroment compared to the dark enviroment. We had one problem because a chrysalis was crushed. We learned that monarchs grow faster in the light instead of the dark. We also learned how to do a controlled experiment


Measuring Chrysalises

Bridget A, Aaron T, Sarah S

In our experiment we measured the length and width of male and female chrysalises. The purpose was to find out if male or female monarchs in the pupa stage are larger. We found out that females are longer than males by 1 millimeter. There is a very slight difference in the male and females.  One problem is  that we could have a measuring error. We might have found better information if we had more males. We only had 5 males and 11 females. We learned how to measure chrysalises accurately and how to identify females from males.


Nectar Preference

Dustin M

In my experiment I observed adult monarchs feeding on red, blue, green, and yellow sponges. The purpose of my experiment was to find out if monarchs show a color preference when feeding. I found that monarchs showed a preference for the green sponge and that they preferred the red sponge the least. There were some uncertainties, though. One of them was that there could be colors that monarchs prefer more that green (e.g. purple, orange). Two things that I learned were that the monarchs had a preference for green, and that they prefer red the least.


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