University of Minnesota

Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from Cloquet Middle School 2004

Cloquet Middle School
509 Carlton Ave
Cloquet, MN 55720

Year: 2004
Teacher(s): Cindy Edwardson, Cynthia Welsh

Does Gender Affect Length of Time in Chrysalis for Monarch Butterflies?

Aimee O

Does Gender Affect the Thickness of the Main Vein on the Left Forewing of the Monarch Butterfly?

Nick F, Collin G

Does the Gender of the Monarch Affect the Amount of Silk Produced?

Maddie P, Marisa S

Does the Mass of a Monarch Butterfly Affect Its Strength?

Hannah A

How Does Environment (Color of a Cage) Affect the Appearance, Growth and Eating Habits of a Walking Stick?

Wesley N

It’s a branch no it’s a twig no it’s a walking stick! Walking sticks are fun insects to study and care for. When they eat regularly a walking stick's diet consist of blackberry, rose bushes and oak bushes. The question is does the color of a cage environment affect the appearance and eating habits of a walking stick? I hypothesized that the color of a walking stick will be affected by the color of the cage environment and that eating habits and growth will also be affected. Newly emerged walking sticks will be placed in different colored cages (black, green, pink and brown). Daily observations will be made of the walking sticks' appearance. Romaine lettuce leaves will be traced on a graph paper. Daily the leaves drawings will be shaded in the areas that the walking sticks consumed. The total number of squares the walking sticks' ate will be counted and divided by the total number of squares in the tracing, this will be multiplied by 100 to determine the percentage of food eaten. The mass of the insect will be measured daily. The results of this experiment are still pending. People that want to raise an easy-to-care for insect will benefit from knowing if the environment (cage color) they raise their walking stick in will have an affect.

How Does Gender Affect Wingspan and Length of the Monarch Butterfly Proboscis?

Sam R

How Does the Instar of the Monarch Larva Affect the Weight of Its Frass Compared to Its Body Weight?

Olivia B

How Fast do Monarchs Fly with Wind Blowing Against Them --- Males vs. Females

Jon H

Monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico from Minnesota every fall. Their survival depends on their ability to fly with and against the wind. The question is how fast do monarchs fly with wind on their backs compared to when it is not, and is there a difference between males and females? The hypothesis is that the butterfly will fly faster when there is wind than without any wind and that males will be less affected by the added wind. The results show that the butterflies fly faster with the wind on their backs than with no wind at all. The gender affects are still being evaluated. This experiment was limited because often the butterflies did not fly in a straight line. This did affect my results. A future experiment may be to measure the affect of a (southerly wind) one blowing opposite of their flight path.

How Strong is a Monarch Butterfly-Males vs Females?

Gordan K

Monarchs need to fly thousands of miles to Mexico every fall. Once they are in Mexico they will hang onto trees even with strong winds. The level of a monarch’s strength may save its life. Often when they let go and fall to the ground predators can find them. The question is how strong is a monarch butterfly-males vs. females? The hypothesis is that males will be able to hold more mass, thus will be stronger. Sponges were cut into different sizes so they would have different weights. Start with the lightest sponge and place it below the feet of a monarch until they grabbed on. It was noted if they could hang on for at least ten seconds. The results show male monarchs could hang onto more weight than female monarchs. My hypothesis was supported. In the future I would like to simulate the wind effect on their ability to hold different weights. Adding the wind effect would better simulate what happens in nature.

Is There a Relationship Between the Leg Length and Wingspan of Monarch Butterflies?

Christina W, Winnie U

The Affect of Gender in a Monarch Cage on the Behavior and Eating Habits

Amelia U

Monarchs are wonderful insects, but does gender affect the behavior? The purpose is to determine if gender combination in a monarch cage affects the behavior and physical characteristics of a monarch butterfly. I predicted that the cage with the two female butterflies will be least affected when behaviors are compared, they will also eat less than the two males caged together, but more than the female/male cage. I placed butterflies in their specified cages, and then I measured out 25mL of 100% juice on a sponge. Each day, for 7 days, I measured the amount of juice after 24 hours of eating time. Every other day I weighed each individual monarch to see the difference in mass. I then compared each monarch cage to the others. Results are pending.  Knowing the right gender combination to put in a monarch cage may be beneficial to raising the healthiest monarch so that they successfully reach their southern destination.

The Effect Added Warmth and Light Play in the “Cloud Effect” and Is There a Difference Between How Male and Female Monarch Butterflies React?

Courntney E

Each year over 1 million monarchs migrate from the north to Mexico. The purpose of this experiment is to determine the part additional light and warmth plays in the “cloud effect” and is there a difference between how male and female monarch butterflies react.  The hypothesis is that an increase in cage warmth will affect the activity of monarch butterflies. With increased warmth, monarch butterflies will be less active, and as soon as the heat is turned off, the butterflies will fly and become more active “cloud effect”. Also, there will not be a difference in activity level because of gender. Three heat lamps with 100-watt bulbs were placed six inches away from three cages and observations were made without the lamps on. Then the lamps were turned on for 25 minutes and turned off. Observations were made after heat was turned off. All of the males didn’t fly, while 2/3’s of the females flew for one minute or more. Female butterflies are more likely to fly when it is cooler and there is less light. It appears that warmth plays more of a factor than just light, for when the lamps were pulled farther away from the cages the female monarchs also flew.







What Color of Flower (Sponge) is the Monarch Butterfly Attracted to?

Blyth A

Monarch butterflies eat the nectar of flowers. It is important to know what color of flower monarchs are attracted to if you’re planting a butterfly garden. My hypothesis is that monarchs are attracted to yellow flowers; therefore they will eat more from a yellow sponge. Two cages with two butterflies each were used; one with females one with males. In each cage there were four sponges in a petri dish (yellow, blue, purple, and pink). Twenty five milliliters of juice was added to each one daily. The mass of the sponges was taken before and after the juice was added. My hypotheses was supported the monarchs ate the most from the yellow sponge next was pink, than purple the least preferred was blue. Raising healthy monarch butterflies is important. If they are not health it will be difficult for them to make their long journey south each fall to Mexico. For my next experiment I would like to measure if  there is a certain kind of juice they may prefer.          


What Size of Sponge are Monarch Butterflies most Attracted, and How Does the Sponge Size Affect the Number of Times a Monarch Lands on it and the Amount of Nectar Eaten?

Justin L

Monarchs eat nectar from many types of flowers. The purpose of this experiment was to determine if the flower (sponge) size affects the number of times a monarch lands on it and the amount of nectar (juice) eaten and what sizes of a flower (sponge) will the monarchs be most attracted to? The hypothesis was that monarchs would be attracted to the largest sponge more often and therefore eat more nectar (juice) from it. Three sizes of sponges were used one 2”s X 3” X ½, 1” X ½” X 1”, and ½” X ¾”. X ½. Twenty-five milliliters of 100% juice was added to each of the three sponges in each of the two cages. The mass before adding the juice and after being in the cage for 24 hours was measured daily. I arrange the sponges in different places in the monarch cage each day to eliminate the affect of sponge position in the cage. I observed which size sponge I most often saw the butterfly land on. More often I observed the butterflies on the medium size sponge, but the ate more juice from the large sponge over 10 days. When planning a butterfly garden it will be good to know what size of flower will most attract a monarch to eat from. A healthy diet is important for monarchs. Next time I would like to vary juice type and sponge size or have actual flowers to test from.

Which Gender of Monarch can Produce a Stronger Silk?

Logan P

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