20 Must-See Pictures of Monarch Butterflies

Updated: Aug. 08, 2022

Monarchs are among the most beautiful backyard visitors. Marvel at them with these gorgeous pictures of monarch butterflies.

249790472 1 Lynn Johnson Bnb Bypc2020, pictures of monarch butterflies
Courtesy Lynn Johnson

Monarch on the Prairie

“I took this photo at a neighbor’s farm. My neighbor is the owner of Pheasants Forever Wildlife Sanctuary, where he has sown native prairie grasses to attract wildlife here in north Central Indiana. Monarchs congregate along his creek bed in late summer/early fall before they migrate. I took pictures of monarch butterflies in the prairie grass,” says Lynn Johnson. Discover fascinating monarch butterfly facts.

250439228 1 Richard Bodette Bnb Bypc2020, pictures of monarch butterflies
Courtesy Richard Bodette

Monarch in the Sun

“The backlit wings of a beautiful monarch butterfly display an almost stained-glass luminescence. The shadow of our backyard butterfly bush shows through. Patience paid off, as I waited for it to move into position for a dark background to help the wings pop,” says Richard Bodette. Love pictures of monarch butterflies? You’ll love learning about monarch migration.

250319895 1 Rebecca Reynolds Bnb Bypc2020, pictures of monarch butterflies
Courtesy Rebecca Reynolds

Monarchs Love Zinnia Flowers

“I was looking out the window, admiring the zinnias growing in the garden, when I noticed a monarch butterfly fluttering amongst them. I quickly grabbed my camera and ran outside to capture this beauty,” says Rebecca Reynolds.

Monarch butterflies are listed as endangered. Find out what you can do to help.

251125402 1 Kira Macneil Bnb Bypc2020, pictures of monarch butterflies
Courtesy Kira Macneil

Monarch Butterfly on Milkweed

“This monarch butterfly posed while snacking on milkweed. This picture was taken in Kentucky, at Haven Hill Farm. At our farm in the summer, our young boys are always on the lookout for the monarchs’ chrysalis so they can watch these beautiful butterflies emerge. I love this picture because it was as if this butterfly knew I had my camera out. It was happy to be a model for a moment,” says Kira Macneil.

Here’s what you need to know about raising monarch butterflies.

251929471 1 Francis Hoefer Bnb Bypc2020, pictures of monarch butterflies
Courtesy Francis Hoefer

A Beautiful Day for Pictures of Monarch Butterflies

“This was a beautiful day at the Sterling Nature Center. I got a nice shot of this monarch butterfly and a bee on these pretty wildflowers,” says Francis Hoefer.

Do monarch butterfly sightings have meaning?

252909861 1 Bob Wyble Bnb Bypc2020, pictures of monarch butterflies
Courtesy Bob Wyble

Monarch Butterfly Images in the Afternoon

“I took this photo of a monarch butterfly in my backyard. The butterfly was feeding on a zinnia flower in late afternoon when the sun was low in the sky. The warm light makes the colors pop against a green background,” says Bob Wyble.

Check out the best monarch butterfly flowers you should grow.

252716551 1 Rick Hess Bnb Bypc2020, pictures of monarch butterflies
Courtesy Rick Hess

Monarch Butterfly on Sunflower

“Last fall I visited a sunflower field with my wife, and she noticed some monarch butterflies in the area, too. After a few minutes of trying, I was able to capture this image. I enjoy taking pictures of both butterflies and sunflowers, so I was particularly pleased to get both in one shot,” says Rick Hess.

Learn the pros and cons of growing common milkweed for monarchs.

251256309 1 Jaclyn Manker Bnb Bypc2020
Courtesy Jaclyn Manker

Tagged Monarch Butterfly

“I took this photo at Cox Arboretum Metropark, in Dayton, Ohio. The park is adjacent to my condominium complex, so I visit and take photos there often. One of the attractions of this park is their lovely butterfly house and gardens. That is where I found this beautiful monarch tagged with a tracker from the University of Kentucky. What luck to find a scientific butterfly!” says Jaclyn Manker.

What does a monarch caterpillar and chrysalis look like?

250631812 1 Tom Scheidt Bnb Bypc2020
Courtesy Tom Scheidt

Monarch Butterfly on Asters

“This is a monarch butterfly on an aster, taken in mid-September. It was about 11 in the morning. I watched it go from flower to flower, as it was very active. I kept my distance, but the monarch didn’t seem at all concerned about me. It actually let me follow it. I expect he was soon on his way south after our meeting,” says Tom Scheidt. Use this monarch migration map to track the epic journey.

251140248 1 Terrie Lornson Bnb Bypc2020
Courtesy Terrie Lornson

Hummingbird and Monarch Friends

“I was at Rotary Gardens in Janesville, Wisconsin, taking pictures of this little hummingbird one September. Suddenly, this monarch butterfly appeared and landed on the flower. Since hummers are so territorial, I was surprised the hummer just kept sitting and didn’t seem to mind the monarch being so close. I enjoy both hummers and butterflies, and this special moment I was able to capture is dear to my heart. This is the only time I’ve witnessed something like this,” says Terrie Lornson.

Viceroy butterfly vs monarch: Learn how to tell the difference.

253383497 1 Joanna Wolff Bnb Bypc2020, pictures of monarch butterflies
Courtesy Joanna Wolff

Seeing Double

“My neighbor gave me the first milkweed plant in 2016. Since then, I have planted many more. We have a high number of monarch butterflies frequenting our backyard. This photo looks as if two monarch ladies took a break and sat down at ‘Zinnia Cafe’ for a short conversation,” says Joanna Wolff. Grow native butterfly weed for monarchs.

250694114 1 Stephen Holland Bnb Bypc2020
Courtesy Stephen Holland

Gardening for Monarchs

“Several years ago my wife and I planted milkweed to attract monarch butterflies. Along with the milkweed we planted coneflowers, asters and daisies. Last summer we had an outstanding crop of mountain asters which the monarchs love. The brilliant pink flowers along with the brown, tan and white colors of the butterfly make this photo so eye-catching!” says Stephen Holland.

251674451 1 Doug Gaudette Bnb Bypc2020
Courtesy Doug Gaudette

Monarch Strikes a Pose

“I was just sitting on the back deck enjoying a beautiful late summer day when this monarch stopped on a flower. He seemed to be posing, so I couldn’t resist,” says Doug Gaudette.

Monarch eggs or aphids? What’s on your milkweed?

251192270 1 Kathleen Mitchell Bnb Bypc2020
Courtesy Kathleen Mitchell

Monarch Butterfly on Green Onion

“This monarch butterfly stopped to pose on my potted green onion seed pod. It appeared that its antenna were angled downward to help it told its balance on the delicate pod, while the proboscis was extended into the center of the pod,” says Kathleen Mitchell. Discover 3 butterflies that look like monarchs.

253025091 1 Jessie Buchholz Bnb Bypc2020
Courtesy Jessie Buchholz

Pretty in Pink and Orange

“Summer has arrived, and the yard is full of color. It is not only eye-catching for me, but the monarchs also enjoy the colors. They seem to favor the big, pink zinnias in the yard. In this image, I like how you can clearly see its curled up proboscis,” says Jessie Buchholz.

Is that a yellow monarch butterfly in your garden?

252425352 1 Leonard Hord Bnb Bypc2020
Courtesy Leonard Hord

Multiple Monarchs

“We grow milkweed in our yard and collect monarch caterpillars in a net house. Four male butterflies emerged at about the same time for release. Usually we try to put them on a flower, but they fly away quickly. This time, all four male monarchs stayed on this butterfly bush flower. I took a picture of the ‘Monarch Men’s Club,'” says Leonard Hord.

If you live in arid conditions, grow showy milkweed for monarchs.

253761761 1 Heather Carson Bnb Bypc2020
Courtesy Heather Carson

Male Monarch Butterfly

“This is a male monarch butterfly. For the past several years, the monarchs have passed through my property on their migration to the south. They spend their days visiting the clover flowers in the field next to my house and then roost in my trees overnight. At times, there are more than a hundred roosting in the same tree. I love this photo because it shows the texture and folds in his wings,” says Heather Carson.

Enjoy pictures of monarch butterflies? You’ll love learning about swallowtail butterflies, too.

253368558 1 Laura Stuchlik Bnb Bypc 2020
Courtesy Laura Stuchlik

Monarch Butterfly Buddies

“I was excited to capture these two gorgeous monarchs feeding together on a Boltonia in late summer. I snapped numerous photos of these friends enjoying a meal on a summer afternoon!” says Laura Stuchlik.

Is tropical milkweed bad for monarchs?

250899939 1 Amy Kidd Bnb Bypc2020
Courtesy Amy Kidd

Elegant Monarch Picture

“This photograph was taken when I was visiting a local garden near Charleston, South Carolina. The monarch butterfly was sitting peacefully and allowed me to get close enough to take this picture. This photograph is special to me because I love monarch butterflies and I teach my students about life cycles using monarchs as an example, so this picture brings me joy! They are such beautiful and elegant creatures,” says Amy Kidd.

Pictures of monarch butterflies are amazing—and so are these awe-inspiring nature photos.

251525457 1 Debbie Thoumsin Bnb Bypc2020
Courtesy Debbie Thoumsin

Monarch Butterflies on Orange Flowers

“These two monarch butterflies perched on this orange flower caught my eye. I love the contrast with the black outlines of the butterflies and the flower. This was taken in Flagstaff, Arizona, in the spring,” says Debbie Thoumsin.

Next, learn how to grow native swamp milkweed.