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What Do Painted Lady Butterflies Eat

Did you know that painted lady butterflies use their feet to taste food? This is because painted lady butterflies have sensors on their legs that act as taste buds. Another unusual feature of this butterfly is the shape of its proboscis, or tongue. The proboscis looks like a paper horn that you might find at a birthday party. When the horn is blown, the paper unravels into a straight, straw-like form. A proboscis works the same way. A butterfly unravels the built-in straw when it is ready to eat. So what do painted lady butterflies eat?
Because of the shape of its tongue, painted lady butterflies find it easier to drink food rather than eat it. The plant on which a butterfly lays its eggs is called a host plant, but the plant from which a butterfly drinks is known as a nectar plant. Nectar is a sweet liquid that provides nutrients to insects.
The painted lady butterfly has a long list of nectar plants from which it may feed. Some nectar flowers a painted lady butterfly will eat are giant goldenrods, marigolds and everlastings. Other flowers include aster, blazing stars and thistle. Daisies, ironweed and red clover are also flowers that provide nectar for the painted lady butterfly.
Nectar plants that would satisfy the painted lady butterfly include dogbane, mallow leaves and common milkweed.
Don't be surprised to see a painted lady butterfly fluttering around a picnic where there is lots of fruit. Painted lady butterflies enjoy drinking the juice from fruits like oranges and watermelon.