How Shady Oak plays a role in butterfly research and conservation

We are committed to doing what we can to protect Lepidoptera, both butterflies and moths. Over the years, our butterflies (egg through adult) have been used by many research institutions and universities in their research and studies. Here are a few of the studies that used butterflies from Shady Oak Butterfly Farm.

Monarch Migration Study:The Reppert Lab (University of Massachusetts) used Monarchs from Shady Oak Butterfly Farm in several of their migration studies.
HTML version of the migration study at Reppert Lab
PDF version of the study at Reppert Lab
Butterfly proboscis study:Butterflies were ordered from us and were used in several studies about how butterfly proboscises work. Here are three links to articles about the study, mentioning Shady Oak Butterfly Farm as the source of butterflies:
Jeb Biologists
Royal Society Publishing
What goes on inside a chrysalis? Study by Dr. Richard Stringer:
Working of a Monarch butterfly heart in chrysalis – NCIB
Paperity – Monarch heartWhat happens while a Monarch is in chrysalis? Study by Dr. Richard Stringer
What happens while a Monarch is in chrysalis?BT corn pollen study:
We shipped many shipments, each 1-2 thousand eggs per shipment, for studies. The young hatchling caterpillars were fed milkweed contaminated with Bt corn pollen. The result of these studies were that at least one strain of Bt corn was taken off the market and destroyed due to the damage it did to Monarch caterpillars.
USDA mosquito spray study:For many years, caterpillars and adults from Shady Oak Butterfly Farm were placed in the southern tip of Florida as the state sprayed chemicals from planes to control mosquitoes. The results of these studies has resulted in a change in how chemicals are sprayed. Studies revealed that “no spray” areas did have spray from planes land in the area, affecting caterpillars and adult butterflies.
Media:A documentary by Illustra Media used empty Monarch chrysalis shells for SEM images of the cremaster as well as frozen butterfly eggs for SEM images of butterfly eggs, supplied by Shady Oak Butterfly Farm. (The USDA does not permit all species of eggs that were used to be shipped alive from FL to CA. They were frozen to allow for legal shipment of these eggs.) Caterpillars and plants of several species were supplied by Shady Oak for filming of the documentary.
Metamorphosis, documentary by Illustra MediaAnd more:As more research papers are released, we will be allowed to link them on this page. Some studies are still ongoing and we are not to release information about their results at this time.
Over the last 19 years, we have failed to keep links and papers from several studies that were conducted with Shady Oak’s butterflies. One such study involved eye spots on butterflies and the ability of researchers to move those eye spots in pupae, resulting in eye spots in unusual places in the adult.  The researcher is now in NY and continues to purchase caterpillars from Shady Oak for additional studies, over a decade from his first purchases from our farm.