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Moths and Skippers Using Their Proboscis to Get Nectar - A Photo Gallery

Updated on December 18, 2011
Photo 1
Photo 1 | Source

Moths or Skippers Using their Proboscis with Flowers

"But Nature flies from the infinite, for the infinite is unending or imperfect, and Nature ever seeks an end." Quote by Aristotle

Moths and butterflies fascinate me. I started out learning more about butterflies first, but then I grew to find moths and skippers to be interesting little creatures. Both have a proboscis, that enables them to survive during their flying stage of life.

A proboscis is basically a curled up, long, sucking mouthpart like a straw. When the moth finds a flower it wants to "drink from", it forces its proboscis out and it becomes like a long straw. It puts that down into the flower where it can get some nectar, for instance, or water elsewhere as needed.

Its fun to capture this process with my camera. This gallery is to share some of those photos. If it is hard for you to see, please click on the image itself, and it can become larger.

Photos of Moths or Skippers Using their Proboscis to get Nectar

Photo 1 - This orange "peppermint stick zinnia" attracted this moth to itself, and a couple things are accomplished in the process. The pollination process happens, and the moth is also nourished by what the flower gives. I love how nature works together.

Photo 2
Photo 2 | Source
Photo 3
Photo 3 | Source

Photo 2 - This moth's coloring looks nice against the purple flower it is on. He seems to have found a jackpot here, in regards to nectar. The yellow center also plays off nice compliments in the colors.

Photo 3 - There are actually two different flowers in this photo even though it looks like they all blend in together. There are lantana flowers mostly, but also pink pentas in there as well. The moth seems very satisfied to have found these. Both of those kinds of flowers naturally attract a lot of butterflies as well.

Photo 4 - Every year I keep my eye out for new and different cosmos flower seeds that come out on the market. This is a newer coral or orange color they have this year. Its super pretty, and would be lovely planted among some blue flowers. This skipper seems happy on these colorful cosmos flowers.

Photo 5 - This is a California Giant magenta or purple colored zinnia. This skipper seems very at home with the flower. I have heard that sometimes, with the color spectrum that these insects can see, that purple is a good color of flower to have in your garden if you are hoping to attract them in this way. Try planting different colors of purple flowers in your own area to see if you see any increase in butterfly and moth traffic if that is something that you desire to see more of. It can't hurt anything, and might yield great results.

(Photos 6 & 7 described below)

Photo 4
Photo 4 | Source
Photo 5
Photo 5 | Source

Photo 6 - Below, you see a white "peppermint stick zinnia" flower with a skipper moth enjoying its nectar. The proboscis is fully extended, something that takes a little effort on the part of the skipper. The peppermint stick description is fairly obvious in its meaning in some of these flowers. Basically, they have these markings that include some red lines, like a peppermint stick.

Photo 6
Photo 6 | Source

Photo 7 (Below) - In the wild, you can see different little moths enjoying many wildflowers. These two little moths seem to be happy with what they have found. The lower one, is the one that I believe I can see the proboscis extended on. These are tiny little guys to begin with, so to see a tiny part on them isn't always easy, but its so cool if you can see it.

Quote by Rachel Carlson, "Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts."

Photo 7
Photo 7 | Source


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    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Mary, thank you so much. You are so sweet, and I am so glad to know you through Hubpages and glad to be friends. :)

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      7 years ago from Florida

      I stand in awe of your work! You do incredible photos. I don't know how you do it! If you don't win this contest, I'll be so surprised! Goodnight. Mary

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Simone, thank you very much! :) I really appreciate that.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Oceansnsunets, I've enjoyed these photos so much- heck, I've loved ALL of your photo galleries! Your work is beautiful!

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      AndreiBargas, Thank you very much! Your comment really made my day, that is how I hope people feel when they see these things and read about them, because that is what it does for me too. So glad you stopped by. :)

      Stephanie, thanks you very much. Yes, moths can tend to be dull, but they are still very interesting little creatures. There are some really large and unique looking ones as well, but they are more night fliers or tropical it seems. So hard for us to see them. Glad you stopped by. :)

      Kris Heeter, Thanks so much for your comment, I really appreciate it. :)

      AllSuretyBonds, well its my pleasure to be one of those people, and its a passion and hobby of mine. So glad to share these things, and happy you stopped by.

    • AllSuretyBonds profile image


      7 years ago

      I love when people take time to stop and look at the beautiful world around us! Thanks for sharing! Voted up!

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 

      7 years ago from Indiana

      Very beautiful photos and a very nice educational description of how the proboscis functions.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      7 years ago from USA

      This is a wonderful photo gallery of flowers and moths! Although I usually think of moths as dull, you've made them interesting and beautiful as you photograph them against the bright colors of the flowers. Nice hub! Voted up!

    • AndreiBargas profile image


      7 years ago from Philippines

      Those are very beautiful pictures. I appreciate the descriptions, too. It felt like watching something on NatGeo or something.


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