The Meridian Skipper, Erynnis meridianus, is unrolling his proboscis in preparation for gathering nectar from the Dakota Vervain flowers he is on. Visible here are the transparent spots on a uniform brown colored underside of the wings.
The Meridian Skipper is a member of the Hesperiidae or Skipper family of butterflies. This specimen is busily nectaring from a Dakota Vervain flower. I am always amazed at the way these tiny beings are able to locate and probe complex flower parts with their “long straw”.
This image shows a Meridian Skipper rolling up his proboscis in preparation for moving to another flower. His species belongs to the subfamily Pyrginae which are the Open-Winged Skippers. This individual has his wings partially open which is acceptable for membership in this group. It is also handy to be able to see the wing markings and colors which help identify this little fella. Note the white “fringe” on the wing margins.
In this final image, you can see the proboscis almost completely coiled for storage prior to flight. What an incredible, complex appendage in such “simple” creatures.