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Life Science: Brassica & Butterfly System

How Sweet It Is

Adult Pieris feed upon the nectar of Brassica plants. Nectar is sweet, but is it possible that varying levels of sweetness might have an impact on Pieris feeding?

Materials Needed

  • Four film Can Sugar Feeders, prepared as described
  • Adult Pieris feed upon the nectar of Brassica plants. Nectar is sweet, but is it possible that varying levels of sweetness might have an impact on Pieris feeding?

    Materials Needed

    Instructions

    • Place the Sugar Feeders into a Light House containing adult Pieris butterflies.
    • Observe the feeding behavior of the butterflies.
    • For each feeder, keep track of how many butterflies feed during a specific time period.
    • Keep track of how long the butterflies spend feeding at each Feeder.
    • Leave the Feeders in the Light House for a 48-hour period. At the end of this period, compare how much sugar solution is left in each.

    Activity Questions

    • How did the butterflies behave when introduced to the Feeders?
    • How would you describe the way that the butterflies “tasted” each solution?
    • Which solutions, if any, were preferred by Pieris? What’s your evidence?

    SHARE YOUR RESULTS for the How Sweet It Is Activity

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