Monarch Butterfly Wing Patterns
Kayla G. Schiltgen, FW 1901
Questions: Variation in Hindwing Spot # Spot Variation in Males and asymmetry are correlated. Males
are more asymmetrical than females.
1.) Do monarchs have different 8
# o f b u tte rflie s
numbers of white spots on the edges of 6
# of spots
their wings? 4
2.) Do male and female monarchs 1
From the results it is clear that
show similar wing patterns?
1 2 3 4 5 6
# of spots
7 8 9 10 11 0
female male individual monarchs are different and
3.) Are the number of spots on the furthermore, that sexes are different.
Figure 1. Figure 2.
forewings and hind wings correlated? Fluctuating asymmetry, small random
differences between left and right may
4.) Do monarchs exhibit any asymmetry Correlation of Hind wings and Assymetry of Hind Wings
Fore wings have implications for monarchs. “In the
in spot numbers? 30
25 process of selecting experienced
# o f M o n a rc h s
5.) Are asymmetry and sex correlated? # o f s p o ts o n fo r e 8
males, the number of consecutive
w in g (le ft) 6 15
matings was correlated with low
fluctuating asymmetry of the
0 1 2 3
0 2 4 6 8 10 12
1. Mount 40 dead adult monarch wings # of spots on hind wing (left)
Absolute Value of Difference in Spot #'s
forewing.”(2) This may suggest that
using scotch No. 845 Book Tape (20 fluctuating asymmetry may reduce
Figure 3. Figure 4.
males, 20 females). particular males’ mating success.
2.Number and label males and females Monarch assymetry and sex Asymmetry in a routinely symmetrical
organism may also suggest genetic
Average Difference in Spot #
3.Count and record the number of 1
completely, white spots at the end of 0.8
mutation. In turn monarchs with
cells M3, CU2 and CU1 on the left and 0.4 asymmetry may have genetic
right hind wings (see fig. 6). mutations.
4.Count and record the number of
completely white spots at the end of Figure 5.
Figure 6. 1.Douglas, Matthew M. 1986. The Lives of Butterflies.
cells CU2 and CU1 on the left and Chapter 3: The Imago: pg 31-68.
right forewings (see fig 6).
Figure 3 is a correlation test to determine whether 2.Schaepfer, Martin A. and McNeil, Jeremy N. 2000.
the number of spots on the forewings and Are virgin male lepidopterans more successful in
Results: hindwings are correlated. The number of spots on
mate acquisition than previously mated individuals?
A study of the European corn borer, Ostrinia
Figure 1 demonstrates that monarchs male monarchs’ forewings and hindwings are nubilalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). Canadian Journal
have different numbers of white spots on of Zoology/Revue Canadien de Zoologie.
correlated. Female monarchs, however, show no
their wings. Figure 2 compares the number of correlation between spot numbers on hind and fore 3.McMillian, Owen W., Monteiro, Antonia, and Kapan
spots on males and females. A correlation wings. Figure 4 displays the difference of the Durrell D. 2002. Development and evolution on the
wing. TRENDS in Ecology and Evolution. Vol. 17 No.
test proves that males have more spots than number of spots on the right and left hind wings.
females on both their hind and forewings. These tests show monarchs do exhibit asymmetry.
Figure 5 is a correlation test to determine if sex