In the Build a Pollinator exhibit inside Pollinator Paradise at the Dickinson County Nature Center, one item that you get to put on your pollinator is a proboscis.
Many insects have a proboscis, which is a type of mouthpart that is basically a tube to help the insect suck up nectar.
You might have seen a butterfly up close with a tightly-curled item just below its eyes. When that butterfly goes to a flower (or a piece of fermented fruit as in the photo above), it will extend its proboscis to use like a human would use a straw to suck up liquid. It is not only efficient, like a straw, but it also allows a butterfly to get to the nectar at the center of small or deep flowers.
Not all moths have a proboscis, because some moths do not eat as adults. However, the moths that do have a proboscis usually have a very long one. A hummingbird moth can actually have a proboscis longer than its body, and the Darwin’s hawk moth of Madagascar has a proboscis nearly 13 inches long to get to the nectar of deep-throated orchids in its native region.
A honeybee has both a proboscis to suck up nectar as well as a mandible, or jaw, for chewing.
Milkweed beetles have a very short and very sharp proboscis that it uses to inject saliva into a plant to liquify the material and then uses the proboscis to suck it up.
The Conservation Foundation of Dickinson County received a $10,000 grant from the Dickinson County Endowment Fund in September 2017 to help create exhibits inside the new Pollinator Paradise addition to the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji. This grant was paired with other private donations to the project to complete the first of many children’s…Read More
We love pollinators at the Dickinson County Nature Center. And we want to share that love with you. That’s why the Conservation Foundation of Dickinson County is continuing to raise funds to complete the new Pollinator Paradise addition to the nature center in Okoboji. (See construction updates here.) Construction began on the $1.7 million addition…Read More