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10 Beautiful Butterfly Pictures You HAVE to See

Celebrate the joy of butterflies by checking out beautiful butterfly pictures of monarchs, fritillaries, swallowtails and more.

Common buckeyeCourtesy Sujata Roy

Beautiful Butterfly Pictures

“Bidens plants grow at a county park along a lake near me, creating a yellow maze. Many pollinators hover on the blooms, but this common buckeye stayed on the blossom for some time. I love the beautiful butterfly’s large, bold features, which pop against the yellow flowers,” says Sujata Roy of Morrisville, North Carolina. These pictures will change the way you look at moths.

Great purple hairstreak butterflyCourtesy Laurie Stuchlik

Great Purple Hairstreak Butterfly

“Last September, I had the most special birthday gift. For the first time in more than 13 years, I spotted not one but three great purple hairstreak butterflies in my garden. I was elated, as these butterflies are so gorgeous and I had photographed them only once before. This butterfly’s colors were amazing as it sat on my sedum. The group stayed in the garden feeding for several weeks. It was a very special month!” says Laurie Stuchlik of Milton, Delaware. Discover myths and facts about butterfly host plants.

Painted lady butterflyCourtesy Karen Thambyrajah

Painted Lady Butterfly

“The first flower on my dwarf sunflowers had just emerged when a painted lady stopped at and delighted in this bloom. I grabbed my Canon E0S Rebel T3i that I use to photograph wildlife, mostly in my backyard, and I got this shot of two of my favorite things: sunflowers and butterflies,” says Karen Thambyrajah of St. Peters, Missouri. Butterfly vs moth: learn how to tell the difference

Aphrodite fritillary butterflyCourtesy Diane Spray

Aphrodite Fritillary Butterfly

My backyard is filled with native plants to attract local bugs, birds and butterflies­—the reward is observing my efforts when it works. I found this Aphrodite fritillary fluttering around my blazing star and grabbed my Sony Alpha a6000. I like how the butterfly turned vertically to match the orientation of the flower spike,” says Diane Spray of Wausau, Wisconsin. Check out blooming bushes that attract butterflies.

Giant swallowtail butterflyCourtesy Caron Gray

Giant Swallowtail Butterfly

“It was a beautiful summer morning in Wisconsin. I was walking in the field behind our yard when I saw this giant swallowtail. It fluttered around for quite some time, and I was able to get many photos of it. This is one of my favorite beautiful butterfly pictures, even though it is on a cutleaf teasel, which is an invasive plant. I can’t get enough of these gorgeous butterflies!” says Caron Gray of Brookfield, Wisconsin. Psst—check out these fascinating swallowtail butterfly facts.

Cabbage white butterflyCourtesy Mynette Jones

Cabbage White Butterfly

“In a prairie of brightly colored swallowtails and monarchs, I took a moment to appreciate one of the smaller and less flashy butterflies, a cabbage white. The sun shining through its wings was a simple moment of beauty and a reminder to stop and appreciate all the little things,” says Mynette Jones of Springboro, Ohio.

Gulf Fritillary butterflyCourtesy Dale Chellis

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

“A Gulf fritillary visited our Sapphire Showers duranta in the backyard. The detail in the butterfly’s antennae and body, plus the crisp appearance of the blooms, make this beautiful butterfly picture special,” says Dale Chellis of Melbourne Beach, Florida. Follow these butterfly photography tips to capture your butterfly sightings.

Monarch butterflies on meadow blazing starCourtesy Mary Carlson

Monarch Butterflies

“I spotted this group of butterflies on a meadow blazing star last summer outside my hometown. I very rarely see this many monarchs on one plant, so I took a photo with my Canon E0S 5D Mark III and 150-600 Tamron lens,” says Mary Carlson of Princeton, Minnesota. Check out 3 butterflies that look like monarchs.

pearl crescentCourtesy Leonora Bridges

Pearl Crescent Butterfly

“While watering my flower garden, I noticed that the center of one of the black eyed Susans didn’t look quite the same as all the others. Looking more closely; I found this beautiful little pearl crescent butterfly feeding perfectly in the middle of the bloom. It was amazing to see how camouflaged it was!” says Leonora Bridges. Check out 6 go-to flowers you should plant in your butterfly garden.

Bnbbyc18 Katelyn CheekCourtesy Katelyn Cheek

Clouded Sulphur Butterfly

“My grandma grows a variety of pretty asters in her garden. One day when I was visiting her, these clouded sulphur butterflies were everywhere. I always have my camera with me. So I sat among the flowers and waited for the fliers to settle down on purple coneflower blooms before taking these beautiful butterfly pictures,” says Katelyn Cheek of Washington, Nebraska.

Next, find the perfect butterfly gift for someone you love.

Molly Jasinski
Molly Jasinski is a writer, editor and social media manager for Birds & Blooms. She enjoys watching the robins, cardinals and occasional goldfinch seen around her apartment.