University of Minnesota

Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from Liberty Ridge Elementary 2005

Liberty Ridge Elementary
11395 Eagle View Blvd
Woodbury, MN 55129

Year: 2005
Teacher(s): Ginger Garry

Chopped or Whole?

Kayla G, Erin B

Our experiment was to see if monarch larvae liked to eat whole or chopped milkweed leaves more. To find out which one they preferred, we chopped up one milkweed leaf and set it on one side of a container. Next, we set one whole milkweed leaf on the other side of the container. We set the larvae in the middle of the container. We observed for about 15 minutes each time we did the experiment. Our results showed that the larvae went to the whole leaf more often , but not enough to conclude they prefer whole to chopped milkweed.

Common vs Swamp

Cassidy M, Meghan H

Our purpose for this project was to find out if monarch larvae would grow bigger eating swamp or common milkweed. We thought that the larvae eating common milkweed would grow bigger because the leaves were bigger and juicer  than on the swamp milkweed. We set up our experiment by putting 10 monarch larvae in each of two containers. We fed one group swamp milkweed and one group common milkweed. We thought that the larvae eating the common milkweed grew better, but the larvae eating the swamp milkweed grew bigger. We ended up with more live larvae that ate common milkweed.    

Do Monarch Larvae Have a Sense of Smell?

Emily B, Conor N

We were interested to find out if monarch larvae could smell differences in their food. To conduct our experiment we cut one milkweed leaf into fourths and soaked 1/4 in apple juice, 1/4 in vinegar, 1/4 in orange juice, and left 1/4 plain. We placed the leaves an equal distance apart in a circle and then placed our larve in the center of the leaves. We discovered that a lot of them went to the leaf soaked in apple juice and none of them went to the vinegar leaf. This leads us to believe that monarchs do have a good sense of smell.

Does Light Affect the Growth of Monarch Larvae?

Emily H, Anna B

We wanted to find out if  monarch larvae would grow better in normal light conditions or in the dark. We divided  20 monarch larvae between two containers. We placed one container in a dark cupboard and one in normal everyday light. We came in twice a week to count and measure them. When we measured we discovered that the ones in the light were doing better that the ones in the dark. 

The Interaction of Ants and Mealworms

Maggie H, Matthew I

Our question was to see what happens when ants and mealworms are put together. We set up our experiment by putting 75 mealworms and about 250 ants together. We put them in a shoebox size plastic container. We added mealworm bedding that the worms eat, and we put in grass and apples for the ants to eat. We also later put in dry and damp milkweed leaves. When the ants were alive they were running around or eating about half of the time. The other half of the time they were attacking and crawling on the mealworms. We couldn't tell if the ants were eating the worms because the mealworms were molting so much. We don't think ants and mealworms can live together in harmony as long as the ants look at the mealworms as food.

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