The small packages gave off radio signals that could be picked up by towers along the migration path of the insects. The signals sent speed and distance information to researchers.
Knights explained the breeding habits of bugs and the areas they stay in winter have been studied, but there is almost no information on migration patterns.
New studies have shown that habitat loss, changes in land use and global warming mean that up to 40 percent of the insect species are at risk of extinction. There has also been a decrease in bird populations that are dependent on insects for food.
When data started pouring in from the putty gaskets, Knight said it was really amazing.
On average, the monarchs flew about 12 km / h and darners flew about 16 km / h.
"If a darner flies through a city, a police officer would be dragged over," said study co-author Ryan Norris.
The insects will probably be even faster, Norris added. They were suppressed by the fat packs, which weigh about half of the body weight bugs.
Norris explained that the investigations showed that insects are likely to fly high in the atmosphere to take advantage of the wind.
"There are insects that fly over their heads all the time and we don't know it."
It also showed that monarchs and darners fly faster in warmer temperatures, but they slow down if it gets too hot, so global warming can affect migration. Rain didn't really have any effect on the bugs at all, Norris added.
The research, while preliminary, has opened doors for more knowledge of insects, said Norris. He expects the technology to be improved so that bug migration can be better understood.
It's extremely important, he said, because scientists who want to develop effective conservation strategies need to know where insects go.
"It's hard to predict what species to do if you don't know what they're doing now."
– By Kelly Geraldine Malone in Winnipeg
The Canadian press