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Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from Amery Middle School 2009

Amery Middle School
501 Minneapolis Ave S
Amery, WI 54001

Year: 2009
Teacher(s): Zoe Thouin-Rochester

Does Stripe Pattern on Monarch Lavae Indicate Gender?

Vanessa B

I wanted to find out if the stripe pattern on monarch larvae indicated gender. Students in my class raised monarch larvae to 5th instar. We examined the stripe patterns on monarch larvae and made drawing of what we observed, paying special attention to the fused 9-11 segment, which corresponds to the location on the adult's abdomen where the distinguishing gender characteristics are located. Once the larvae developed into an adult, each student recorded the gender of their larvae drawings. Our research used drawings of two male and five female larvae. We found one characteristic that seemed to distinguish a male lava  from a female larva. On the fused 9-11 segment, male larvae had a white or a yellow stripe interrupted with two black dots, where the female larvae had a yellow stripe broken with only one black dot. Our results are inconclusive due to a very small sample size.


How Does Wind Affect Monarch Larvae Behavior?

Amy J, Maggie C, Lucas B

We wanted to find out if wind affected the larval "J" direction and pupa placement. We put eight larvae in cages (four per cage), and placed the cages three feet downwind from a large fan. We put nine larvae in cages (up to four per cage), and placed them three feet upwind from the same fan. When a larva went into the "J" position, prior to pupation, we recorded the direction it faced relative to the wind, and we recorded its location within the cage, as well. We discovered that the larvae in the wind environment "J-ed" in a direction that caught the least amount of wind, and that they pupated in sheltered locations within the cage. 


The Effect of Light on Monarch Larvae Development

Tyler M, Michayla K

We wanted to find out if light affected monarch larvae development. We divided the number of larvae evenly among all of the students in the class, with one third exposing their larvae to 24 hrs. per day of light, one third exposing their larvae to 24 hrs. per day of dark, and one third exposing their larvae to normal day length of light and dark. We waited for them to grow and pupate. While the larvae grew, we recorded the number of days each larva spent in each instar. We discovered that monarch larvae grew faster in constant light compared to normal daylight or constant dark conditions.


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