I am currently exploring how butterflies respond to heat waves. I have four treatments that are administered to Baltimore checkerspots: a control, a high level heat wave, a high level but long lasting heat wave, and a low level heat wave. The objective of the experiment is to determine how degree and duration of heat waves affect survival. After doing so, I will search through databases to determine the average duration and temperature of heat waves in areas inhabited by checkerspots. Next, I will look for future estimates on heat wave duration and temperature. I should hopefully be able to compile that information into a prediction for how Baltimore checkerspots, the endangered state insect of Maryland, will cope with climate change and the ensuing increase of heat wave duration and intensity.

Baltimore checkerspot hatchlings in comparison to a U.S. penny
Baltimore checkerspot hatchlings (soon to reach the second instar)

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