People handle monarch butterflies. A lot. Every year thousands of monarch butterflies are caught, tagged and released during their fall migration by citizen scientists helping to track their movements. And thousands of caterpillars are reared by hand or used in classroom demonstrations and outreach events.
These activities can provide valuable scientific data and educational benefits for the people participating in them. But how do the monarchs themselves feel about being handled by humans?
The answer, according to a new study from University of Georgia ecologist Andy Davis, depends on their life stage: Being handled is stressful to them but only in their early life. MORE