University of Minnesota

Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from Chisago Lakes Community Education 2005

Chisago Lakes Community Education
13750 Lake Blvd
Lindstrom, MN 55045

Year: 2005
Teacher(s): Elizabeth Lenz

How Much Milkweed Will One Monarch Caterpillar Eat In One Day?

Dina L

I wanted to find out how much a small caterpillar would eat in one day and then in one week. I also wanted to find out how much a large caterpillar would eat in one day and in one week. I had to change my experiment, because we had a lot of caterpillar deaths.

I started out with three caterpillars. They ranged from 3 to 5mm. long. I traced their leaves, and then re-traced them after 24 hours. I observed them again, and gave them fresh leaves. I re-traced the leaves again after 24 hours. By the time one of them was 2.5 cm. long, he died, and his friend got lost.

I had one caterpillar left that was 13mm. long. He had only one front antenna so I named him Onezie. When I started the experiment with him, he ate only a 3mm. hole, and the next morning he was dead.

Even though I did not completely answer my question, I got some really good information.

What Do Different Caterpillars Eat? (The Hungry-Hungry caterpillar.)

Savanna B

I was interested in learning about the appetite of a caterpillar, like what their foods are. By experimenting with different types of plants, and through careful observation and research I found out what these four caterpillars eat.  I also found out what species insect they turn into!

What Gives Monarchs the Urge to Fly South?

Madeleine M

I wanted to find more information about the Monarch Migration. I learned that they fly south mostly to avoid freezing, and to stay alive over the winter. I learned that Monarchs do not all migrate, because most of them only live for about two weeks. I learned that Monarchs from the north and northeast migrate to the Sierra Madre Mountains in Mexico, and that these Monarchs travel about 2500 miles to get there. I also learned that even though they have been studying Monarch migration, scientists do not really have an answer to my question. Maybe when I am in college I can be one of the researchers helping to solve this mystery!

Why Do Asian Lady Beetles Come Into Our Houses?

Zach C

I knew that they were like Ladybugs, but I didn’t know what kind they were. I kind of wanted to know why they were coming in our house, so I did some research to find out. I found a lot of interesting facts about Asian Lady Beetles, and learned some fascinating things about them. I also came up with a lot more research questions along the way. For example, I wonder if they are attracted to a certain type of ceiling, and if so, is there a certain spot on it they would go?

Will a Caterpillar Climb Up or Down to Eat Food?

Victoria S

I wanted to see if a caterpillar would climb up or down to eat milkweed. I built a three story caterpillar tower. I started by gluing wood craft sticks together, and then I used wire screen glued to the wood. I made holes in the floor, so the caterpillar could climb up or down.

I put my caterpillar in the middle section, but in order to eat, it needed to climb up or down. I put the same size and type of Milkweed in the top and bottom. I checked the caterpillar at about 9PM, it was at the top. The next morning it was at the top but it had died. I am not sure if all caterpillars would like to go to the top, but I'll have to wait until next year to try this experiment again.

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