Saturday, November 27, 2010

How Butterflies Drink Water

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Red Admiral Butterfly (Vanessa atalanta)

If you follow my butterfly photographs whether here or on my Photo A Day Blog, you have noticed that many of my butterflies are pictured on my driveway. The reason for that is that they are drinking water — tiny, miniscule droplets that are under the bluestone of the driveway after a rainfall. They dip their proboscis into the soil to extract the moisture. But until recently, I never knew what the mouth of a butterfly looked like. After photographing some well focused shots of this Red admiral, I finally saw that their mouth is more like a slit.

If you click on any of these photographs, you will open a new tab (or page) and go to the Flickr page, where you can view a larger version of the photo by clicking the "Actions" drop down menu.

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You can see the proboscis here.

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A closer view . . .

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. . . and the closest view.

You can also see this in beautiful videos I found by jcmegabyte on YouTube. Below, you can view his Purple Hairstreak video that also shows the butterfly mouth. But explore his YouTube channel for other magnificent videos.



  1. that's incredible... interesting noteworthy details andree.. i have enjoyed viewing yr posts on facebook abt all these critters i might not otherwise have viewed... thank you, appreciate the fine work involved...


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