University of Minnesota

Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from Other 2008

(Various), MN

Year: 2008
Teacher(s): Karla Bisco, Julie Stitt

Aphids: We're Counting on You!

Tony T

We found out that our 5 milkweed plants had a wide range of aphids living on them. We thought that the taller plants would have more aphids because we saw so many, but when we counted them, one of the small 20 cm milkweeds had 149 aphids and the 40 cm milkweed plant had only 110 aphids. Our hypothesis is partly true because we guessed that there would be 500-2,000 aphids and one of our plants had 731. We are unsure about whether we needed more plants with aphids to compare our data since we only had 5 plants. We learned that counting aphids takes some time.

Assassin Bugs

Elwood O

Assassin bugs are a type of insect that I find interesting. They get their name because they inject poisoned saliva into their prey and suck out their insides. Some types of assassin bugs are milkweed assassin bugs, spined assassin bugs and the zelus. I will have a poster board with examples of assassin bugs and their characteristics.

Carnivorous Crickets

Tiffany W

I tested crickets to see if they ate each other. I gave them a limited amount of food supply and only changed the potato every 3 to 5 days. I started with 5 crickets and at the end of the experiment, I had one cricket alive, 1 almost dead and 3 dead. I was unsure about how much food the crickets were actually eating. I learned that if crickets are starved, they will become cannibals.

Caterpillar Chow Down

Jenni H, Sierra J

We wanted to find out how much food small 2nd and 3rd instar Monarch caterpillars eat. We found out that our hypothesis was very close. We estimated as a group that 13.5% would be eaten and the actual average was 11.7%. We wondered if the caterpillars would eat more when they got bigger, but they died too soon to find out. We think they all had a disease. We also wondered if there was something wrong with the milkweek, but we washed it and made sure to pick it from the right spots. We learned that little caterpillars eat less than we thought.

Chirp Chirp Cricket

Laura M

My experiment was to find out if crickets chirp more in the light or in the dark. I wanted to see if crickets chirp more in the dark because they may be nocturnal. If they chirped more in the light then maybe they were not nocturnal and they could be awake during the day. My results were that the crickets chirped more in the dark by almost 11 more times than in the light. My hypothesis was right. I was unsure on how long I had the crickets for because they ate each other and they didn't even touch the potato that I gave them every day. I learned that the crickets were probably nocturnal because they really only chirped at night.

Clear Wing Moths

Victor F

I researched the clear wing moth. In this project you will find information on various clear wing moths. I have included the life cycles of a few different species. There will also be a part about whether people like clear wing moths or not and how they help our environment grow.


Zoe J

My project is about fireflies, which are in the beetle family. It will include information about their habitat, food, metamorphosis, who found them, how they glow and help people.


Carmela S

This project will tell about the classification, life cycle and habitat of the honeybee. Also, there will be information to show how honeybees are important to humans and plants. Lastly, there will be research about the honey- producing-process. Research was done on the internet. A diorama has also been constructed of a honeycomb to show what it looks like.

Insect Models and Research

Pairs of students picked an order of insect to research. The insect orders that will be displayed are odonata, blattodea, mantodea, lepidoptera, blaberus, coleoptera and phasmatodea. Students researched the length and width of the body and the wing span if necessary. This information was used to make a papier mache model that is ten times bigger than the real life insects. Groups also researched a variety of topics such as: defenses, predators, habitat, how they eat, how they move, mating, anatomy and life cycle.

Lady Bugs Which Way?

Emily M

I wanted to know which color the ladybugs would go to the most. I was curious to see if the ladybugs would go to the same color every time. My hypothesis was partly true because I thought that they would go to flowery colors such as: white, yellow, orange, red and purple. I found out that in the 1st trial the ladybug went to red the most which was 4 times. In the 2nd trial the ladybug went to purple, red, green and black 2 times each. I am unsure that I didn't have enough trials to tell if there was a true color preference. I think I needed to use more ladybugs also. I learned that the ladybug seemed to repeat the same pattern in a row.

Praying Mantids

Ivy G

My project is about praying mantids. In this project I will tell you about the oothecae (egg), nymph and the adult. Also, you'll learn about defenses and the behavior of praying mantids. There will be a model for you to use as a reference.

The Life of Red Ants

Eleanor D

My project is about red ants. In this project you will learn about the red ants' life cycle, behavior and their importance to nature. There will also be research about their underground ecosystem. A model will be there to show how a red ant looks.

The Secrets of Honey Bees

Mateusz F

I am doing my project on honey bees. I will be talking about the life cycle, the parts of their body and some other facts about them. You will also see some pictures of them. I chose honey bees because I was really interested in them.

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