22 Jul 2021

Citizen scientists help Monarch butterfly discovery

From Nine To Noon, 9:20 am on 22 July 2021

Just over a year ago Nine to Noon covered a call for citizen scientists to help researchers with a study they were conducting into a disease affecting Monarch butterflies. Victoria University entomologist Phil Lester was investigating the prevalence of a disease affecting Monarch butterflies caused by the protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha or OE, which  - it was thought - led to deformed wings in Monarchs. 

More than 100 people from all around the country responded to the request for help to collect spore samples from the butterfly's abdomen - a bit of a tricky and delicate process. Phil joins Kathryn to talk about the study's findings, which have just been published in the journal Ecological Entomology.