Manduca Caterpillar Growth Experiment

Enter the Lab - Overview

The Manduca growth experiment can be used to uncover the impact that temperature has on the size and growth rate of an organism. There are three options for using the experiment, the quick virtual lab, the full virtual lab, and growing your own Manduca at a warm and cool temperature. In the daily viewing windows there is a measuring tool* that can be used to record the growth of each Manduca. Each window also includes the mass of each caterpillar.

Quick Lab

Quick Virtual Lab: This tool can be used as a way to quickly gather data on one Manduca grown in each of two different temperature settings and explore the effect of temperature on growth and size in single animals.

Full Lab

Full Virtual Lab: This tool can be used as an alternative to growing and measuring live Manduca in the classroom. You can measure the mass and length of several caterpillars from both temperature settings, generate graphs of the data, complete a statistical analysis to determine significance of your results, and explore the reasons behind the changes due to temperature.


Do it Yourself Lab: This tool can be used as a long-term experiment lasting up to 35 days. You can explore the impact of temperature on size and growth rate by raising your own Manduca from egg to emerging moth. You are able to do everything in the virtual lab, but on your own live caterpillar! Compare your results to your classmates and friends who have grown them in the other temperature.

For Teachers

For Teachers (Download PDF): Here is a link to the teachers resource packet, containing full instructions for each experiment, student handouts, a sample lesson plan, and background information to help get you started.

 * The measuring has been tested and works in all browsers except Internet Explorer.

This section of Ask A Biologist was funded by NSF Grant Award number 0746352. Credits

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Bibliographic details:

  • Article: Manduca Caterpillar Growth Experiment
  • Author(s): Dr. Biology
  • Publisher: Arizona State University School of Life Sciences Ask A Biologist
  • Site name: ASU - Ask A Biologist
  • Date published: December 28, 2016
  • Date accessed: July 15, 2024
  • Link:

APA Style

Dr. Biology. (2016, December 28). Manduca Caterpillar Growth Experiment. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved July 15, 2024 from

American Psychological Association. For more info, see

Chicago Manual of Style

Dr. Biology. "Manduca Caterpillar Growth Experiment". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 28 December, 2016.

MLA 2017 Style

Dr. Biology. "Manduca Caterpillar Growth Experiment". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 28 Dec 2016. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 15 Jul 2024.

Modern Language Association, 7th Ed. For more info, see

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