As I was exiting the prairie the other morning, I ran across this thirsty little fellow, who was feasting on the dew that remained on an unidentified prairie plant:
I stayed with this guy for quite a while, but never did get to see the colors/patterns on the topside of this wings, so identifying him was very difficult. To complicate matters, most identification books focus on the wing topside. But after a long search, I believe this guy is a Hackberry (Asterocampa celtis) Butterfly … at least his wing underside appears to match the colors and pattern of the Hackberry. In the above images, you can clearly see his proboscis, his “tongue-like” feature that allows him to collect nectar and other liquids. The proboscis is constructed of 2 parallel, linked tubes, which work like a pair of drinking straws. When not in use, the proboscis can be tightly coiled up against the butterfly’s face … or extended fully to drink liquids. Quite an amazing little creature!