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Mar 15, 2007

Ppppbbbbttthh! [Butterfly tongue sound]

You didn't know butterflies had tongues did you.

Looks like they kinda have 'tocks too. Sure, they're long, cylindrical 'tocks, but they're 'tocks all right [puts away magnifying glass]


These glass-wing butterflies are nuts aren't they?!


Thank you, Auntie Olga!

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 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:25 PM

Ahhhh! First posser?

And butterfly tocks are...different. But cute-imous!

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:25 PM

I knew butterflies had tongues! I had one land on me last summer and taste me! First?

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:25 PM

@mervthe flamingo - ah, crap! :(

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:26 PM

How beautiful! Butterflies have a very special meaning for me, so it was wonderful to see this. Thanks for making me smile today. :-)

For the love of jauntiness
 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:27 PM


glass-wings are very beautiful indeed, I'd never heard of them before...

huzzah for the shopkeep!

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:29 PM

Thats photoshoped...the equivalent of a infamous lie...please stop it.

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:30 PM

I have never seen butterflies with see through wings before. They look like a mosquito with wings. Where are they from?
Stained glass wings.

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:31 PM


That sentence, a[n] equivalent of a grammatical nightmare. Plus, it IS NOT SHOPPED.

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:32 PM

That tongue! And I thought the rabbit tongues were a revelation. Wow! And wings that look like stained glass windows--all things beautiful mebbe really do derive from nature.

[runs to convert to pantheism]

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:33 PM

What a precious little creature! You can see the environment/foliage right through the wings!! Amazing! Last summer I was at the pool and captured a beautiful butterfly in my hands (until it escaped through my thumbs). It felt special. Anyway, I later read that it is dangerous for the butterfly, when a human hand touches it. They use the scales on their wings to navigate properly, and when one of us touches them, they fall off...affecting their navigational skills. It's a shame, too--the little buggers are so wonderful to capture, even if for a moment. :^(

Denise in Nebraska
 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:35 PM

so pretty! and, tiny-ness-wise, also cute! this site never fails to introduce great new stuff.

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:35 PM

Did my "first!" become "bleen?" how did that happen?

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:35 PM

Tor, That's their tongue?How cool are they. I like them.

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:35 PM

This is the point where nature and magic meet. Wow.

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:35 PM

now seriously... are those real???

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:36 PM

MervTheFlamingo -- like I said... MAGIC!

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:36 PM

Gorgeous pics!

Re: shop-whiners, they're for real, quit your crying.

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:38 PM

The link doesn't really explain the situation. I mean, it links you to "Bleen" which says "not in the dictionary", or a picture of a kitty. I ...seriously...don't...get..it.

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:39 PM

All my learnin' comes from CO re: tongues.

Oh, and random internet searches:

Proboscis - the butterfly tongue, which works like a drinking straw. In metamorphosis, the proboscis is formed as two separate parts, which the butterfly uncoils and zips together to form a tube for drinking.


 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:40 PM

What do you suppose it feels like if a butterfly licks you?

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:44 PM

Tor: "All my learnin' comes from CO re: tongues"

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:44 PM

beautiful! i wouldn't say that they're "cute" though...

Laura M.
 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:44 PM

oh yea?? well, dragonflies can bite!!! yea, it hurts. Me and my younger cousins had this little playskool colorful tent, and we caught moths and butterflies and dragonflies etc. and i was the "trainer" i had to grab the dragonflies gently by the end of the tail, and keep petting them and petting them until they let us hold them no sweat. Well!! they would curl over and bit me, while i still had their tails!! oh well, i as still able to train them... sorta.

well i love how pretty these butterflies are!!! i just lurve their little transparent wings...

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:45 PM

That's what they look like dragon flys.

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:49 PM


 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:52 PM

Ceejoe, They are real:
Glasswing Butterfly(Greta Oto) is a brush-footed butterfly where its wings are transparent. The tissue between the veins of its wings looks like glass. They are found in the range which extends throughout Central America into Mexico.

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:54 PM

I just wanna clarify that I'm not a shop whiner... even though I asked if they were real...
I've just never seen such a thing and am amazed by the beauty and variety of nature!
And thanks for the wikipedia link - I also learned what lekking is! 0.o

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:54 PM

Frans Lanting has lots of butterfly pictures. Check this one out. There are other Stained Glass Butterflys on this site. The butterflies seem to live in Peru and Madagascar. Enjoy.

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:55 PM

Three strikes, somebody's out.

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:56 PM

Laura M., I agree this is more "beautiful" than "cute." I'll take it though!
Actually, if we had a COXCU of that curly proboscis, I think we would be well within "cute" territory. Ppppbbbbttthh, indeed.

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 12:58 PM

I love Flutterbys!!
And this one is 'specially gorgeous!!

Martha in Washington
 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 01:01 PM

Oooh, aaah. Airy fairy.

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 01:03 PM

sorry for stupidness but...what's bleen?

Pleez to help
 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 01:03 PM

I wasn't referring to you ceejoe. Since Theo has Handled The Problem, that's where I'll leave it.

Proboscis closeup: http://www.backyardnature.net/but_prob.jpg

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 01:04 PM

Gorgeous! I'ma just gonna sit back, slurp some puddin's and enjoy the beauty.

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 01:04 PM

Theo, Gotcha.

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 01:04 PM

Man, I hate it when I get here too late and Theo has already "handled" it....it's fun to read of other's stupidity....LOL..

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 01:06 PM

oh yeah..these are some groovy butterflies....I would say I wanna put one in my mouf...but that would be weird. and kinda oogly feeling.

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 01:07 PM

[sigh] ...please let's move on? Seriously. They're gorgeous.

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 01:08 PM

Just to add to what Tor said:

The "tongue" on butterflies is a proboscis. It's a specialized mouthpart found in moths and butterflies. It performs the same function for a butterfly that a hummingbird beak performs for butterflies (i.e. it's long and good for suckin' nectar).

It's a beak, really.

Also, it's "butt" is its abdomen. And, yes, they are actually pretty cute, especially when the bugs are all chubby buggies.

This entomology lesson came to you from the course I'm taking this semester. Having raised milkweed bugs, I can attest to the cuteness of buggy abdomens.


 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 01:09 PM

"I can attest to the cuteness of buggy abdomens"

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 01:11 PM

Ooh, here's a good closeup:


The site doesn't say but it looks like a false-colored electron microscope pic, which would make the closeupness fairly extreme indeed.

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 01:11 PM

Another nice find, Zombie.

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 01:13 PM

There was a butterfly exhibit here in Tucson I want to go see a few times. I saw a glasswing... They're really nest. There were also blue morphos and owl butterflies. both of which are quite large.
And, yes, butterflies have really long "tongues" I saw a few of them eating (they had fruit out for them). It was really fun to walk through and see them all. ^_^

Fish Eye no Miko
 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 01:17 PM

Just wow.
Great finds all around!

And that's why I love to visit a conservatory butterfly show whenever possible. Indy, St. Louis, Cinci--there's nothing like walking (very carefully!!) through a garden with so many butterflies all around you.

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 01:23 PM

I'm agreeing with the folks who put this in the category of "beautiful" rather than "cute." I don't really want to snorgle the glasswing -- it's too tiny and delicate. But oh, my, they ARE beautiful!

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 01:24 PM

So Beautiful.

I've seen some beautiful butterfly jewelry but no Fabergé compares to this.

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 01:35 PM

Wow, whatta little treasure God made! I'm not one to invoke His name casually but this...is truly incredible. I didn't know such things existed. Wish we had them in Ohio... :(
Wouldn't the world be a better place full of creatures like these?

 |  Mar 15, 2007 at 01:35 PM

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