University of Minnesota

Are There More Male or Female Monarchs?

Sarah Glassman, Grade 6
Plymouth Middle School, Robbinsdale School District 281
Plymouth, MN


In my experiment, I wanted to find out whether there were more male or female monarchs. I collected data and used class data in order to see if there were more males or females. With the data I found that there were more females than males. I think that there may be more females to help the species survive. It is possible that there were some errors in the data collection. I didn't record it all myself. I learned how to tell male from female monarchs. I also learned about recording data and making graphs.


I think there will be the same number of males as females.


I wanted to find out if there were more male or female monarchs in nature. I wanted to know if the male and female birth rates were the same. My curiosity all started when I got my caterpillar and wondered if it was a boy or a girl.


  1. information from science class data book - ability to distinguish males from females
  2. information from math class about graphs and charts
  3. computer


  1. I conducted my experiment by looking at data about the sex at birth of monarch butterflies.
  2. The information was kept on a chart in the data book.
  3. I made graphs with the data and compared males to females.


I found there were more female monarch butterflies born than male butterflies. It might be like that in nature. I think I had a large enough sample of butterflies to know if I got the correct results.

(Photo: Sarah Glassman)


I conclude that there are more female monarch butterflies than males because they are the ones that lay eggs. They can lay more than 400 eggs per female.

What I Learned

One of the things I discovered was how to tell the males and females apart. I also learned that the female monarch can produce over 400 eggs per year. Another thing I learned is how a monarch comes out of its chrysalis. I had the opportunity to watch this great change in nature occur seven times. The reason why I think there are more female than male butterflies is because the males can mate with more than one female. Another reason may be that the female monarch butterfly is more important because they lay the eggs for the next generation.

What I Would Do Differently

  • I would liked to have had more time to observe the butterflies.
  • I would get data from other teachers and from other schools and see if it is the same as ours.
  • I would like to have more information about the life cycle of the monarch butterfly.
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