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Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from Amery Middle School 2001

Amery Middle School
501 Minneapolis Ave S
Amery, WI 54001

Year: 2001
Teacher(s): Zoe Thouin-Rochester

Monarch Food Preferences

Amber E

In my experiment I offered my monarchs different kinds of food to choose from and recorded how long (in seconds) they ate at each one.  I also recorded the number of times they visited each food source.  I wanted to know which food choices the monarchs would like the best.  The monarchs liked honey water the best, followed by sugar water and pop.  They tried the kool-aid and orange juice, but did not touch the Jello mix.  We are uncertain about our results because we had a sample size of eighteen butterflies.  There might have been different results with a greater number of butterflies. I learned that the butterflies will try foods other than their natural food, but they still liked their natural food sources better.  I also learned that monarchs are not constantly feeding.


The Effect of Caffeine in Monarch Nectaring Choices

Andy G

Our experiment was about how the presence of caffeine affected the nectaring choice of monarchs. We put caffeine powder in increasing amounts in honey water and allowed monarchs to eat. We did this experiment because we were wondering if the caffeine was addictive and to see if the butterfly's behavior would change. Our results were different than what we expected them to be. The monarch preferred the higher caffeinated nectar. We don't know if all monarchs would prefer caffeinated nectar. The two things that I learned from this experiment are that monarchs like caffeinated nectar more than plain nectar.  The other thing that I learned is monarchs can eat a lot in five minutes.  Every time I saw a butterfly eat, I thought it would take the ten minutes to eat 2.00 mg of nectar; monarchs ate that much in only five minutes.


The Effect of Female Crowding on Male Sexual Behaviour?

Liz B

Our group did an experiment to see if the increasing number of females affected the males sexual behavior. The purpose was to see if the males sexual behavior got more active as the number of females increased.  We found that the increasing number of females sort of affected the males sexual behavior. We are uncertain about our results because our cage was bumped a number of times, and that could have affected the males behavior. We learned what an attempt to mate looks like, also what a land-on looks like.


The Effect of Light and Temperature on Growth Development in Male Monarchs

Carissa M

My group did an experiment on the affect of light and temperature on the butterflys gonad development.  We put two butterflies in a refrigerator and two butterflies in an open cage in room temperature so that they would always get light. Our purpose was to see if light and temperature would affect a developing gonad.  The average width for the butterflies kept in light was 2mm. The average width for the butterflies kept in the dark refrigerator was 1.3mm. Due to the limited time and limited number of monarchs, we only had a sample size of two monarchs for each treatment. The two things that we learned were that the temperature and light does affect the developing gonad.  We also learned the butterfly skin has many layers while we were dissecting.


The Effect of Varying Nectar Sweetness on Monarch Flight

Jacob H

Our experiment was about how the sweetness of the nectar affects the monarch feeding choice.  We did this by changing the sweetness of nectar and letting the monarchs eat.  We did this because we would like to see what kind of flowers the monarchs would prefer outdoors in real life.  Our results were that the monarchs preferred the thinnest choices such as all water and also preferred the second sweetest choice, such as four parts honey to one part water.  We arent sure if these results are correct because two of the monarchs didnt eat the nectar.  We also arent sure of these results because we did this experiment for only two days. One thing that we learned is that the monarchs like sweeter choices more than other choices.  Ive also learned that monarchs dont always eat when you expect.


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