It’s officially National Pollinators Week! Join us for a weeklong celebration of the plants and animals that carry pollen. Plus we’re sharing ways you can help local pollinators too. This week, each coloring page is highlighting a different pollinator and showcases the hard work they do for Ohio plants and wildlife.
Just like honey bees, butterflies are another well-known (and important) pollinator. But did you know that butterflies taste with their feet? Their taste receptors are located on their feet rather than in their mouth like humans. When a butterfly stands on a leaf, they can determine if that leaf is edible.
But the main source of nourishment for butterflies is flower nectar. How do they get to the nectar? They use their long, tube-like tongue, called a proboscis, to suck up liquid. The proboscis works like a straw to get the nectar. Some butterfly species will even use their proboscis to feed on pollen.
While butterflies are moving from flower to flower, dining on sweet nectar, pollen will stick to them. The pollen is then transported to another flower as butterflies move on, looking for more nectar. In southwest Ohio, one plant we can thank butterflies for pollinating is milkweed (pictured below).
Get more coloring pages here!