Butterflies and Moths (Order: Lepidoptera)

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Butterflies and moths are a large and successful group of insects. The larvae (caterpillars) are plant feeders. Once they undergo metamorphosis, some species no longer feed. Those species that do feed as adults are restricted to a liquid diet of sugary nectar. They use their long, straw-like mouth (proboscis) to probe flowers gently for nectar. Because they do no interact strongly with the flower, they usually do not end up with large quantities of pollen on their proboscis or body. In spite of this, some specialized plants make heavy use of these insects as pollinators, particularly in the tropics.


Monarch butterfly foraging for nectar


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