Bumblebee on lavender blossoms - Bariloche, Argentina

Like all bee tongues, the bumblebee tongue (the proboscis) is a long hairy structure that extends from a sheath-like modified maxilla. The primary action of the tongue is lapping, i.e. repeated dipping of the tongue into liquid. During lapping, nectar is drawn up the proboscis by capillary action. When at rest or flying, the proboscis is kept folded under the head.

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