30 of the Most Beautiful Butterfly Pictures
Butterflies are the peacocks of the insect world. From vivid blues and intense greens to bright yellows and oranges, they come in a wide variety of colors and combinations.
We all know the recognizable orange and black of the monarch butterfly, but what about the unique transparent look of the glasswing? Here are 60 beautiful butterfly pictures as well as facts about some of the world’s coolest insects.
The blue morpho is a butterfly found in South America. Its stunning wings are a bright, iridescent blue, tipped in black with white spots. The shiny color is the result of microscopic scales on the wings.
The underside of the wings provides camo when closed, so they are a dull brown with eyespots. They are also one of the largest butterflies, with a wingspan of 5 to 8 inches.
A Closer Look
Probably the most recognized butterfly in North America, the monarch is easy to spot with its orange, black and white wings. They have poisonous chemicals in their bodies, and the orange color is a warning to predators.
Monarchs are found in the Eastern Hemisphere.
Another stunning blue and black butterfly, the Ulysses is local to the tropical rainforests of North Queensland, Papua New Guinea and the Northern Islands of Australia.
It’s a swallowtail butterfly and is also sometimes called the mountain blue butterfly.
A Closer Look
You won’t believe the electric green on the wings of the South American malachite.
This butterfly has a wingspan of up to 4 inches, and their wings have intricate designs on the underside, making them beautiful to look at even when folded.
Another stunning swallowtail, the tailed jay also has bright green and black wings in a spotted pattern. They’re from Southeast Asia and are also known as the green triangle.
Their bodies have a slight pink hue to them.
The viceroy butterfly closely resembles the monarch with bright orange and black patterns. The main difference is the black line crossing through its hindwing and that they are smaller in size.
They also do not migrate like monarchs.
Rajah Brooke’s Birdwing
Part of what makes this butterfly so unique are their rare V-shaped wings. Native to rainforests in Southeast Asian countries, the Rajah Brooke’s birdwing has neon greenish-yellow wings, barred by black.
They have very small hindwings that have a bit of the bright green on them but are mostly black. They can have up to a 6.7-inch wingspan.
While this butterfly doesn’t have the bright colors that some do, it’s unique look puts it among the most beautiful butterflies. They are a dark brown and black butterfly with a glass-like transparent triangle, called a hyaline, that gives it a unique look.
Its long tail can be up to 1.5 inches, almost longer than its wingspan.
While they may be called “common,” it’s certainly not for their looks! The common buckeye is anything but, with brown wings sporting bright orange bars and cream and orange eyespots.
These butterflies are found in North America and may have a reddish tint in the fall.
The orchard butterfly, also known as the large citrus butterfly, is a black or brown (female) butterfly with a colorful display on their hindwings.
They can be found in Eastern Australia and Papua New Guinea.
This incredibly beautiful butterfly has wings that are mostly transparent due to a large hyaline. The wings are tipped with black and white on the forewings and a burnt orange color on the hind.
Wherever this butterfly lands, it takes on the beauty of the landscape underneath them. Glasswing butterflies can be found in North, Central and South America.
Wallace’s Golden Birdwing
The Wallace golden birdwing butterfly is unfortunately on the IUCN endangered list. This stunning butterfly has huge wings of black, yellow and red-orange.
From Indonesia, the Wallace butterfly can have a wingspan of up to 7.5 inches, making them one of the largest butterflies in the world.
The crimson rose butterfly has an eye-catching red body to match its brilliant red, black and white wings.
It is found mainly in India where they are a protected species.
The Emerald Swallowtail is the chameleon of the butterfly world, as its wings change color depending on the way the light hits them. This is caused by the tiny scales on the wings.
According to the American Museum of Natural History, “When the scales reflect blue and yellow light, their tight arrangement allows the colors to mix together and be perceived as the iridescent green bands from which the butterfly takes its common name. But when its wings are viewed from another angle, the human eye will see the bands as only yellow or blue, respectively.”
This butterfly has uniquely shaped wings that include dramatic lines and spots against a dull brown canvas.
The Bhutan glory can be found in parts of Southeast Asia and Northeast India.
Common Pink Forester
This pretty butterfly is from Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast and Nigeria.
It has a range of wing colorations, the brightest being beautiful pinks and greens accented with black spots.
A Closer Look
The widespread forester’s incredibly beautiful wing patterns come in hues of blue, from a teal to a dark purple-navy. All have yellow accents on the top of their forewings.
They, too, can be found in Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast and Nigeria.
A Closer Look
This incredible butterfly has huge wings of brilliant blue with black tips and a spot of orange on the hindwings for extra pizazz. (It’s probably to fool predators, but it certainly makes them look smart!)
They are found in the rainforests of Central and South America.
This interesting butterfly is named after the fancy black-and-white design on its wings that form the number 88!
They are found from Mexico to Peru as well as Brazil.
A Closer Look
Blue Triangle Butterfly
The blue triangle butterfly has stunning blue, iridescent wings framed by black. When closed, the blue has a mint-green sheen to it.
They are found in Eastern Australia.
Great Purple Hairstreak
The great purple hairstreak — its name says it all! This beautiful butterfly has deep metallic blue with black wing borders (male). The females are paler, but still just as beautiful.
And not to give the wings all the glory, this stunning butterfly has a uniquely bright body, with white spots on the thorax and bright blue and orange on the abdomen.
This gorgeous butterfly has large black and white forewings, with bright yellow and black hindwings. The body of the butterfly is bright yellow and red with black spots, making it a truly striking butterfly to come across.
Also called the Sahyadri birdwing, the southern birdwing is the state butterfly for Karnataka, India.
Also called the small copper and common copper, the American copper is a beautiful fiery-orange and brown butterfly.
It’s native to the Eastern United States.
This tiny butterfly makes up for its size with its vivid blue wings, outlined in black and white. It has small thin tails on each hindwing.
They are common in Eastern North America.
A Closer Look
If you’re looking for flashing, look no further than the peacock butterfly! This beautiful insect has a multitude of vivid colors over its large wings, including big eye spots to fool predators.
They are located in Northern Britain and parts of Ireland.
It’s easy to see where this beautiful butterfly gets its name. The zebra butterfly has striking black and white stripes, and just a touch of red is visible when folded.
They are the state butterfly of Florida.
The orange oakleaf is a cool butterfly for two reasons. When its wings are open, it displays incredible colors of blue-purple, bright orange and black. When they are closed, they look just like dead leaves!
Sometimes nicknamed the dead leaf butterfly, you can find it in tropical areas of Asia, from India to Japan.
A Closer Look
Hailing from Hawaii, the Kamehameha butterfly sports bright orange wings, with black tips and black spots.
It’s one of only two species of native butterflies in Hawaii.
Red Spotted Purple
This is a stunning butterfly, whether its wings are open or closed. Shimmering blues are accented with black and white, along with orange-red spots and hyaline on the tips of the forewings.
The red spotted purple butterfly is a North American species.
Bay Checkerspot Butterfly
This unique butterfly is on the threatened species list. It’s a medium-sized butterfly with a busy checkered pattern in shades of red, orange and yellow with black and white on its 2-inch wings.
The bay checkerspot is found in the San Francisco Bay area of the United States.