The Monarch butterfly is one of the most recognized insect in North America.
Many people enjoy watching monarch butterflies. Many people gather monarch larva and raise them into an adult butterflies only to release them in the Fall. The question is what affect does nectar and environment have on monarch butterfly eating habits and growth? The hypothesis is that a cylinder shaped cage and honey, nature’s nectar, would help monarch butterflies maintain their mass over a square cage and monarch feed just juice. This experiment was done to choose the best liquid to feed them is important. Four monarch butterflies were each placed in a separate cage. Four sets of round, plastic green cages and four sets of brown, wooden, square cages, 8 butterflies were used; one butterfly was placed in each cage. Daily, measure the mass in grams (g) of each butterfly on a scale. Then I took 8 dishes (perti dish) and 8 sponges and laid one sponge per dish. The mass of food, and butterfly was recorded each day. The hypothesis was partially supported. There was not much of a difference between the mass loss of monarchs in a square vs. round cage, but they did lose less mass in a square wooden cage. Monarchs normally over-winter on trees, so possibly this is why they lost less mass in the wooden cage. Monarchs feed honey maintained their mass better than monarchs feed juice. Monarchs fed juice probably did better because honey is very similar to the nectar that monarchs normally get from a flower. In nature monarchs will encounter many different shaped objects and do not seem to be affected by cage shape.