Flying Insects Who Draw Nectar From Plants

Written by frank whittemore
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Flying Insects Who Draw Nectar From Plants
Butterflies are among flying insects that feed on flower nectar. (David Tipling/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Nectar is a thin, sweet liquid produced by certain species of flowering plants. The nectar serves an important function: It attracts insects, which---while feeding on nectar---also pollinate the flowers from which they draw it.

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Butterflies and Moths

Many butterflies and moths are drawn to flowers that produce nectar, using it as a food source. These insects typically have long, slender, coiled mouth parts with which they probe deep into flowers and draw nectar out as if through a straw.

Bees

Many types of bees, including mason bees, orchard bees, bumblebees and honey bees, also feed on nectar. Bees serve as a significant source of pollination for many crops.

Flies

Nectar is a food source for some flies. One example is the bee fly, which uses a long, straw-like mouth similar to that of butterflies to collect nectar.

Mosquitoes

The males of many species of mosquitoes feed on nectar. Although a nuisance and sometimes a threat because of the diseases they may carry, mosquitoes also serve as important pollinators.

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