Butterfly Proboscis

Checkered Skipper

Checkered Skipper

The butterfly proboscis (feeding tube) is a cellular structure that is covered with cuticle. The cuticle contains the protein resilin, one of the most elastic proteins investigated. The proboscis can be stretched by the contration of muscles in the base of the proboscis that cause it to extend. Some Lepidotera can hyper-extend the tip so that it has a slight upward bend. This bend makes it easier for the butterfly to insert it deep into flowers to retrieve nectar.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in behavior, Biomaterials, by jjneal. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s