There are many insects, which have ‘straws’ for sucking up the liquids. The insects, which have ‘straws’, are moths and butterflies. In the figure, an insect is sucking blood. Insects that suck up liquids have mouths shaped like long tubes. Insects that suck include aphids, which have a sharp tube for piercing the stems of plants and sucking out sap. Mosquitoes pierce our skin to suck up the blood. A housefly has a tube with a spongelike organ at the end for sucking up liquid. In biological language, these straws are called a ‘proboscis’. Insects that drink nectar from flowers have the best straws. A butterfly normally keeps its long proboscis coiled up, only extending it when it intends to use it. The convolvulus hawk moth has a straw 14 centimetres long for reaching deep into certain kinds of flowers. One type of south American moth has a proboscis that is 30 centimetres long.
top of page
bottom of page