University of Minnesota

Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from Cloquet Middle School 1999

Cloquet Middle School
509 Carlton Ave
Cloquet, MN 55720

Year: 1999
Teacher(s): Cindy Edwardson

How Does Color Affect the Food Choice of the Monarch Larva?

Katie M

I decided to study "What affect does color have on the monarch butterfly larva?"  I designed an experiment with my partner Brigitte Bartholdi.  We set up a circle of colored cards with the backs turned up one-quarter of an inch.  We set a larva in the center, facing no particular direction, and watched which card it went to.  We wondered why it would go to any color without food, so we changed our design and put two-inch pieces of milkweed on the cards one-quarter inch from the front.  This made our experiment "How does color affect the food choice of the larva?" After performing this experiment ten times, and making a data table, we found that it seemed to go to green more than the other colors which was contrary to our hypothesis that color would not affect the food choice.  Light and sound may have affected the choice the larva made and we only tested one female caterpillar.  Males could like different colors and we should test many larva to really know if our results are correct.  I learned this larva prefers green and light colors.

How Does the Temperature of the Room Effect How Often a Monarch Butterfly Eats?

Jamie S, Janice M

I tested how often the female monarch eats in different temperatures.  I did this because I wanted to know what relation they might have to human eating habits, or if it had to be a certain temperature for them to eat.  The results were: at 60 degrees it ate for 6 min.23 sec., at 70 degrees-8 min.56 sec., and at 80 degrees- 6 min.40sec. This may not be correct because I tested one butterfly.  That butterfly may have different eating habits than most butterflies.  One thing I learned was that the butterfly ate more than I thought.  Another thing I learned is they like cold, fresh juice rather than warm, old juice.

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