The Monarch Butterfly Head, Thorax, Abdomen & Proboscis

picture of Monarch Butterfly showing head, thorax, and abdomen on Garden Phlox

Caption: A Monarch Butterfly (Danaus Plexippus) opens his wings wide atop Garden Phlox (Plox paniculata) revealing his head, thorax, and abdomen.

This is one of the few side view open-winged pictures I've taken of the Danaus plexippus. His wings are fully spread so you can see his head, the hump past his head called the thorax, and the thicker abdomen at the bottom.

The curly black extension protruding from his mouth is called a proboscis.

Camera: Nikon D60 with 18-55mm Zoom lens.

Butterfly facts: After morphing into a butterfly, the monarchs' diet changes drastically from when she was a caterpillar. The adult uses a new appendage called the proboscis to suck the sweet nectar of many flowers.

The butterfly doesn't need this nourishment for growth, but to maintain her strength for long flights.

Monarch Butterfly Parts back to Monarch Pictures

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