The Speed of a Butterfly Proboscis

The tiny common blue butterfly sits on the lavender, supping the nectar in the summer sun.  But the question "how fast does a butterfly move its proboscis?" was rumbling around my head!

Using its proboscis as a natural drinking straw the butterflies feed on the nectar buried deep in the flowers.  Uncurling their tongues when feeding it is recoiled and tucked away before moving on to the next flower.

The photographs were taken at 1/80th of a second and the moving proboscis can be seen as a whispy black movement.  Think that means it uncurls very quickly!


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