Poster Title

The Effects of Red #40 Dye on the Development of Painted Lady Caterpillars Metamorphose.

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Secondary School

Institution

Project Lead The Way - Kentucky

KY House District #

62

KY Senate District #

17

Abstract

Allura red, also known as Red dye #40 and chemically represented as C18H14N2Na2O8S2 is a common food coloring that has been found to cause medical problems in humans, but that has not been tested in other species. This experiment tests the effects of Allura red in the development of the painted lady butterfly, the most widely distributed butterfly in the world. We hypothesize that Allura red will impede the development of painted lady butterflies, when mixed with their food. This experiment compares the effects of Allura red to that of pesticides on the declining bee populations of the world, as painted lady butterflies are also important pollinators. The experiment consisted of 40 caterpillars divided into four groups of ten, three groups of caterpillars received a dose of Allura red mixed into their food culture (High dose (Hi), Mid dose (Mid), Low dose (Lo)) and one group received culture only (Control (Con)). The time it took the caterpillars to develop in their chrysalises and to emerge was recorded to see if it took longer for the butterflies who were given dye to emerge. The higher the ratio of Allura red dye to food culture, the longer it took the caterpillars to emerge. Additionally, there was a higher mortality rate among the butterflies who received more dye, as well as higher rates of deformities. In the Con group, all butterflies emerged within 3 days of each other. In Lo group, 2 caterpillars died before chrysalis, 1 never emerged, and 2 died in emersion. In Mid group, 3 caterpillars died before chrysalis, 1 never emerged, and 1 died in emersion. In the Hi group, 1 caterpillar died and 3 never emerged. There were several deformities (crumpled wings, frayed wings, no legs, etc.) in the groups that received Allura red with their food culture.

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The Effects of Red #40 Dye on the Development of Painted Lady Caterpillars Metamorphose.

Allura red, also known as Red dye #40 and chemically represented as C18H14N2Na2O8S2 is a common food coloring that has been found to cause medical problems in humans, but that has not been tested in other species. This experiment tests the effects of Allura red in the development of the painted lady butterfly, the most widely distributed butterfly in the world. We hypothesize that Allura red will impede the development of painted lady butterflies, when mixed with their food. This experiment compares the effects of Allura red to that of pesticides on the declining bee populations of the world, as painted lady butterflies are also important pollinators. The experiment consisted of 40 caterpillars divided into four groups of ten, three groups of caterpillars received a dose of Allura red mixed into their food culture (High dose (Hi), Mid dose (Mid), Low dose (Lo)) and one group received culture only (Control (Con)). The time it took the caterpillars to develop in their chrysalises and to emerge was recorded to see if it took longer for the butterflies who were given dye to emerge. The higher the ratio of Allura red dye to food culture, the longer it took the caterpillars to emerge. Additionally, there was a higher mortality rate among the butterflies who received more dye, as well as higher rates of deformities. In the Con group, all butterflies emerged within 3 days of each other. In Lo group, 2 caterpillars died before chrysalis, 1 never emerged, and 2 died in emersion. In Mid group, 3 caterpillars died before chrysalis, 1 never emerged, and 1 died in emersion. In the Hi group, 1 caterpillar died and 3 never emerged. There were several deformities (crumpled wings, frayed wings, no legs, etc.) in the groups that received Allura red with their food culture.