University Studies


UC Davis is using our caterpillars in one of their research projects. They are studying the relationship between Monarch caterpillars and wild milkweed plants.

One of the study elements is how the maturation of wild milkweed plants affects the success rate of the Monarch during the course of the summer months.




Dr. Schwab of the UC Davis Eye Center is using our butterflies to study the Monarch Eye. He reports that the Monarch eye is multi-faceted – like a honeycomb.

Each facet is like a Keplerian telescope. The surface of each facet is covered with nipple like bumps, which is used to diffract glare. It helps to break up the glare from flower petals, which can be seen from a long distance. The nipple like bumps, by the way, are smaller than the wavelength of light.

There is much more to his study than can be explained here, but Dr. Schwab hopes that his study can lead to something useful in his field of Ophthalmology. Click here to see images of the Monarch butterfly eye.




There is a study pending, which is investigating the possibility of using cells from our Monarch caterpillars to produce a valuable Pharmaceutical product using Biotechnology, and genetic engineering.

It is a fascinating project and we hope the study continues to show progress and lead to something beneficial one day.




A student at the California Institute of Technology, is using some of our butterflies to study the aeronautical value of Monarchs in flight.

High-speed video is taken and used to evaluate how the wings bend in flight, and how this affects various aeronautical coefficients.

Stay tuned to see a high-speed / slow-motion video of the Monarch in Flight.