Monarch Butterfly Chatbook – Native Coneflower


Native coneflower species are several and include grey headed coneflower (Ratibida pinnata) and pale purple coneflower (Echinacea pallida). The closely related grey headed coneflower has a different Genus name than pale purple coneflower.      

I have noticed monarch butterflies sipping nectar from coneflower. The butterfly uses its long proboscis which is its tongue. The monarch unfurls its straw like proboscis and inserts it deep into a flower where sweet dew like substances reside.

A hint for the photographer, wait until a monarch butterfly is self absorbed in drinking nectar. A butterfly can get absorbed in this act and not pay as much attention to movement around them. A butterfly can see but not like humans. Monarch butterflies have poor eyesight even though they have large compound eyes with thousands of ommatidia. These are structural elements that make up a compound eye, which senses light and images.


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