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BARS 2022

Color patterns of male and female Monarch butterflies


Lola Ninburg 


Johannes Familton PhD


Monarch butterflies are an at risk species of milkweed butterfly native to New York. In this project we will attempt to distinguish male from female monarchs based upon the ratios of colors appearing in their wings. Professor Familton actively raises monarch butterflies from eggs found locally. He releases these butterflies after they emerge from their chrysalis. The photographs that we will use in this project have been taken by Prof. Familton of his butterflies. In this project so far I have been photoshopping the backgrounds of the butterflies to have them sort of pop out and so no other colors interfere with the ratio of the butterflies wing colors. Then my colleague Raquel has been putting them through a sort of color ratio calculator to see if we can determine the gender of the butterflies.


1 Comment

  1. Oneil Mahoney

    Great topic, This project is an example of Advocacy through science and mathematics; by studying and presenting the monarch butterflies, you also raise awareness of their Endangered Status. I am curious what you were able to infer from your photoshop measures, what reasons contribute to their disappearance and what the public can do to reverse this