Butterfly facts

Have you ever wondered what butterflies feed on? Or even how they do it? Most butterflies prefer flower nectar, but others may feed on the liquids found in rotting fruit, in ooze from trees. Butterflies prefer to feed in sunny areas protected from wind.

Most adult butterflies drink nectar from flowers through a tube-like tongue called a proboscis which acts like a straw. It uncoils to sip liquid food, and then coils up again into a spiral when the butterfly is not feeding.

This Red Admiral had been feasting on my Cosmos flowers and Filipendula (Meadowsweet) before coming to rest on a hose nozzle lying on the table in front of me. I was able to get a blurry shot of the proboscis as it curled back up.

And here he is basking in the sun with his mouth firmly closed!

July Squares | Perspective


  1. Beautiful photos 🦋

  2. margaret21 says:

    Oh, well captured!

    1. Heyjude says:

      So lucky to get that coil! I was so fascinated watching it I hardly dare believe I had captured it on camera.

  3. bushboy says:

    Wonderful Jude 🦋😀

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Brian. You doing OK?

      1. bushboy says:

        Yes Jude thanks. All is going well at the moment.

        1. bushboy says:

          Funny how I used space for the Ragtag Daily Prompt today.

        2. Heyjude says:

          I shall pop round for a look.

  4. susurrus says:

    The coil even seems to have a droplet in it. I ought to be off butterflies as their offspring completely destroyed my small bag of garden peas. I removed quite a lot of caterpillars, but obviously missed some. They were harvesting the pod overnight right down to the membrane, leaving the peas inside. I had to admire the dainty way they had done it.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I grow nasturtiums for the cabbage whites to lay their eggs on, but I did notice one very interested in my salad leaves the other day!

      1. susurrus says:

        They have ignored my nasturtiums so far but since I pulled up the pitiful pea vine skeletons yesterday, all bets are off.

        1. Heyjude says:

          Amazing how quickly they can strip something.

    2. BeckyB says:

      oh no! They’ve not found my peas thank goodness. At least they the peas inside!!

  5. beetleypete says:

    Great captures, Jude, and very informative too.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Pete, first time I have actually seen the tongue curling like that let alone manage to get a photo!

  6. Sandra says:


    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you!

  7. So beautiful! I love butterflies and your post was just so enjoyable.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you 😊

  8. Sue says:

    Nicely captured, Jude!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Sue. It was teasing me for ages!

      1. BeckyB says:

        She knew you needed to still still for a while!

  9. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    Beautiful close ups

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks MM 🙂

  10. restlessjo says:

    A bit scary close up, aren’t they? 🙂 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      True. Without those pretty wings we’d probably run away screaming 😱

      1. restlessjo says:

        I’m a happy bunny tonight. They’re coming! 😍😍

        1. Heyjude says:

          Oh, good. Now you can return to being happy Jo. I suppose they have to quarantine on arrival back in the UK, or has that changed? Any news on the job?

        2. restlessjo says:

          It may change for Faro but not Lisbon. Fingers crossed 🤫💕

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