Saturday, December 20, 2014

Furled beauty

We often speak of a butterfly's beautiful wings. But another part of a butterfly's anatomy is also attractive.

A butterfly's proboscis is the thin "drinking straw" through which butterflies sip nectar.  To my eyes, the furled shape of a butterfly's proboscis is especially appealing.

Butterflies siphon nectar through a food tube in the center of the proboscis.  Small muscles on both sides of the food canal control the butterfly's ability to coil or uncoil its proboscis.

When its proboscis is unfurled, a butterfly is able to siphon nectar from flowers

Below is another picture of a butterfly with a furled proboscis:

Duskywing on rain lily

The furled shape of a butterfly proboscis is found throughout nature.
It's can be found in the emerging flower of a succulent or of a moon snail's shell. 

The unfurled shape of the stapelia gigantea flower

The coiled shape of a moon snail's shell

It can also be seen in the thin tip of a cattail stalk upon which a dragonfly has balanced

Or the curl of an anole (lizard) tail as it rests upon a succulent leaf

Nature is full of furled beauty.  If I had to choose one shape to call my favorite, I'd probably pick a swirling spiral because no matter where in nature I see it, it always makes me smile.

No comments:

Post a Comment