Do Butterflies Have Tongues?

I walked outside this afternoon to chat with my hubby, who was spreading a couple bags of mulch, and noticed this butterfly hovering around the Cone Flowers.


As I zoomed in to get a closer shot, I noticed that it kept poking at the flower with what looked like an antennae of sorts.


Once I was finished taking pictures (since my butterfly knowledge is minimal) I googled the question, “Do butterflies have tongues?” and learned that these beautiful creatures sip nectar through a straw-like structure called a proboscis.  When they are not drinking, they coil it up, like in the picture below.


I thought perhaps this visitor was actually a moth, since it seemed so fuzzy, so I turned, once again, to the ever-resourceful google.  Apparently, its club-like antennae identify it as a butterfly.


When it came to identifying it, google was less helpful; but hey, two out of three ain’t bad.  I’m wondering if it is an American Snout Butterfly.  Anyone know for sure?


He stuck around for quite awhile, and then flew off to visit my neighbor’s flowers.


9 thoughts on “Do Butterflies Have Tongues?

  1. No idea what kind of butterfly it is, Kathy, but what a treat to be so up close and personal with one! Gorgeous shots!! I think you’re officially a photogriter now. 😀

  2. Wow, s/he does look fuzzy! I’ll be interested to know what type of butterfly it is. I don’t think it’s a snout butterfly, because yours has two “eyes” near the base of each wing and the pictures of the American Snout dont’ show any.

  3. Wow, what fabulous shots, Kathy!! You are amazing!

    I find identifying butterflies so tricky. We even invested in the really nice Audubon butterfly field guide and it’s still hard! (I would try to help you but our guide is at our place up north.)

    Loved the shot of the proboscis curled up. Outstanding!

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