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Neat Nature Nasties! The Butterfly’s Tasting Tootsies And Weird, Noodly Mouth

Like using a crazy straw, only it’s your face.

Sarah Burns

It’s early afternoon, and you wake feeling groggier than usual — but good, like a whole new being. It’s a lovely spring day, one of the last before the air is heavy, thick with summer; but today is perfect. Looking down at the peaceful meadow rolling out before you, vibrant colors sway rhythmically in a sea of grass, as a gentle breeze carries the sweet smell of flowers. You flit closer.


Photo: Suju/Pixabay

Among the flowers, you admire their vivid hues and delicate structure, and make note of your favorites. Having woken up late today, you suddenly realize how hungry you are. No problem. You stand, stick your foot into the first flower, and feel around with your toes.


Photo: Nikiko/Pixabay

“This stuff is pretty good,” you think, but you’ve got a particular craving this afternoon. Another breeze picks up, and you can smell them somewhere on your right. You turn, and sure enough, a milky-purple clump of flowers stands atop a green waxy stalk. Excited, you dunk your foot in the sticky pollen, and you unfurl your coiled proboscis to suck up the sugary nectar.


Photo: Josch13/Pixabay

You mean you don’t taste every surface your feet land on? Then you clearly aren’t a butterfly. Butterflies taste surfaces with their feet to determine which plants are safe to eat, and which would be the perfect spot to lay their eggs.

Ever suction a cup to your face, even though you were told not too, because it’ll leave a big red ring around your mouth? Well, what if the cup became so stuck, it stretched your mouth into a long, straw-like tube you could use to suck up sugar water for food? When you’re not eating, you can just roll up your tube-mouth and tuck it under your chin for convenience. Proboscis is a fancy science word for “mouth tube”, and it’s how butterflies brunch. 

Make a butterfly to brighten up your day! Simple Mom Project has instructions, and a free template, so go on, it’s time to spread those creative wings!


Photo: Simple Mom Project