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Free Pictures of Butterflies

Updated on January 29, 2017
Holly22 profile image

Hubpages is where I explore my inner writer. I started with a few sales hubs but now have specialised in my interests What I know most about

Names of Butterflies with Pictures for the enthusiast.

All free photos can be found at this site:

www.flickr.com/photos/remedy451/

I have created this site to provide a source of free pictures of butterflies for the average enthusiast. Please feel free to use these photos without charge. I only ask that where possible you give me credit and/or link back to my site.

All photos copyright Peter Broster licensed under creative commons

Orange Tip

A Flash of Gold

Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)

Widespread butterfly with distinctive orange spots on the male make it unmistakeable. Female is similar but without the orange and can be confused with a small white unless the green underside is seen. The butterfly is quite a fast flyer so you need to be near flowers that it feeds on to have a hope of a photograph. Common in the spring in gardens and hedgerows.

Scotch Argus

A decidedly Scottish Butterfly

Scotch Argus (Erebia aethiops)

We found our specimens in the typical highland meadow locality that the butterfly is so fond of. They were in abundance and I spent a whole afternoon with them just dancing around me as I sat in the long grass. Only found in Cumbria in England the Scotch Argus is quite widespread n the highlands of Scotland. It is also found in the upland areas of Europe. Despite its name, the Scotch Argus is unrelated to other arguses and is actually a member of the nymphalidae family of browns, commas and fritillaries.

Free Pictures of Marbled White Butterflies - Melanargia galathea

Marbled White
Marbled White

A flash of black and white

I have sought after this butterfly for many years and suddenly there I was on a clifftop heath overlooking the English Channel and there were lots of them. What a sight.Despite its name, the marbled white is not a member of the white family, it is actually a Satyridae related to the browns. It is known for its evenly matched black and white pattern and brownish underwing. It usually rests with wings open and is often found in groups, giving some lovely photographic opportunities

Free pictures of Small Blue butterflies - Cupido minimus

Small Blue
Small Blue

The pretty little cousin

The smallest member of the UK blue family of butterflies the aptly named small blue is a lovely even brown blue colour and happily settles on blackberry bushes whilst you take photos. The female is almost all brown but the male shows blue at the base of its wings and on the body. The small blue loves limestone or chalk country and is very common where this scenery is seen.

Free pictures of Large White (Cabbage White) butterflies - Pieris Brassicae

Large White
Large White

Beautiful Butterfly or garden pest

The Large White is not the most popular butterfly owing to its liking for brassicas for laying its eggs. That does not mean it is not a beautiful butterfly when seen flitting from flower to flower as this one was at a garden centre near Kidderminster.

Butterfly Books on Amazon - Getting started with butterfly spotting

If these photos have peaked your interest beyond just having access to some free photos, now is the time to get out there and spot some species for yourself. Most UK butterflies are sufficiently distinct as to be instantly recognisable and with a good book you will have a lot of fun with these most beautiful of natures artwork.

Free Pictures of Ringlet Butterflies - Aphantopus hyperantus

Ringlet
Ringlet

Eyespots aplenty

This rather bedraggled specimen at first sight isn't the most welcoming butterfly but consider he lived near a stream and had just survived a few weeks of torrential summer rain in 2012. The ring eyes can clearly be seen on this aptly named butterfly whose dusky grey appearance has a charm of its own as I spent half an hour chasing him up and down the embankment. The ringlet is fairly common adapting to meadows, banks, hedgerows and woodland, nonetheless it is a great addition to my collection.

Free Pictures of Small Skipper Butterflies - Thymelicus sylvestris

Small Skipper
Small Skipper

Not a true butterfly .... I think not!

Skippers make up the distinct butterfly family of Hesperiidae that include this wonderful creature that I saw flitting between flowers on seashore grassland dancing about to my great delight. I was mesmerized. Skippers without doubt have moth like qualities. Stout bodies, wings rest at an angle but there is so much of this creature that screams butterfly. The antennae have the characteristic bulge at the tip albeit sickle shaped but for anyone who has seen one of these characters it is the flight that is so much a butterfly. The Essex Skipper is similar but its antennae tip is black whereas the Small Skipper's is orange.

Free pictures of Small Copper Butterflies - Lycaena phlaeas

Small Copper
Small Copper

Small maybe, but such a bright butterfly

Widespread butterfly that usually is seen in ones and twos. The male can be territorial and quite aggressive to passing insects as it guards its plot. The copper colour shines in the sun and is a glorious site.

Free Pictures of Speckled Wood Butterflies - Pararge aegeria

Speckled Wood
Speckled Wood

Speckled butterfly for sure, not always in woods though

While the butterfly is frequently seen guarding sunny spots in woodlands, its actual range extends to gardens and hedgerows. Very territorial the butterfly will spiral into the sky at the approach of intruders.

Free Pictures of Swallowtail Butterflies - Papilio machaon

Swallowtail
Swallowtail

Exotic resident of the fen country

Arguably the most beautiful butterfly in the UK, the swallowtail is now restricted to a few locations in the fen country of east anglia. It is the only member of the Papilionidae family that is resident in the UK. Severely threatened after the second world war the butterfly's habitat is now protected and numbers are improving again.

Free Pictures of Painted Lady Butterflies - Cynthia cardui

Painted Lady
Painted Lady

The lady of summer

I know many butterflies are migratory but this butterfly does it in style. Wintering in North Africa the butterfly arrives in the UK in August sometimes in fantastic numbers as in 2009. Painted Lady's are widespread and have been recorded in the Orkney's, Shetlands and even Iceland. It is also found in large parts of Asia and the Americas.

Free Pictures of Meadow Brown Butterflies - Maniola jurtina

Meadow Brown
Meadow Brown

Common member of Brown Family that never fails to delight

Widespread and common in most of the British Isles the Meadow Brown is nonetheless a beautiful butterfly with its orange markings within the brown wings, the black eyespots and white 'pupils'. The butterfly is particularly successful as it has adapted to flight even in inclement weather, while many butterflies wait out the rain, the Meadow Brown continues on its way. Its main enemy is agricultural intensification. The Meadow Brown loves grasses and is common on grassland, heathland, parks and fields.

Free Pictures of Gatekeeper Butterflies - Pyronia tithonus

Gatekeeper
Gatekeeper

Lord of the hedgerow and the best scent marks

Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) also known as the hedge brown. Butterfly is widespread across England and Wales but less common further north. Male is distinctive with scent marks on the wings. I don't know what it is but I love the browns. Cheeky reliable little guys they are the sparrow of the butterfly kingdom.

Free Pictures of Green Veined White Butterflies - Pieris napi

Green Veined White
Green Veined White

Country cousin of the small and cabbage white

This species is also known to migrate to the British Isles from the continent boosting the local population. It is found in meadows, open grassland, and hedgerows but rarely in gardens.

Free Pictures of Monarch Butterflies - Danaus plexippus

Small Copper
Small Copper

Known as the Milkweed in Great Britain and the Wanderer in Australasia.

Monarchs are very well known in North America for their long migrations from Mexico to Canada taking several generations to complete the round trip. The butterfly is one of the largest and most widespread and was probably named after King William III of England. Monarchs are foul tasting as a result of ingesting poisons from the milkweed plant and this provides them with some defense against predators.

Free Pictures of Red Admiral Butterflies - Vanessa Atalanta

Widespread member of the Nymphalidae Family

Migratory butterfly that arrives from europe every year. They can hibernate over winter and emerge looking rather shabby in the following spring but are often killed off by the cold. They love to eat rotten fruit but also are frquently seen on many native flowers. This is one of the few British Butterflies I have also found high on the hillside flying across farmers fields with not a flower in sight. Remarkable long distance butterflies and beautiful to behold

Free Pictures of Comma Butterflies - Polygonia c-album

My personal favourite for overall impact the comma is a wonderful butterfly

Undoubtedly my favourite British butterfly. I have always enjoyed watching this raggedy shaped butterfly as it feeds on flower heads. It gets its name from the small white 'comma' shape on its undersides. The butterfly likes gardens and hedgerows and hibernates in Britain overwinter. The ragged wing shape is supposed to resemble a dead leaf and thus is a help with camouflage.

Free Pictures of Peacock Butterflies - Inachis io

Peacock
Peacock

Very common European butterfly and the only member of the Inachis genus

One of the most spectacular British Butterfles seen in gardens and hedgerows and very fond of Buddleia bushes. The name comes from the large bluish eye spots on fore and hind wings. The Peacock is a strong migrant flyer and has been found as far north as Iceland.

Free Pictures of Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies - Aglais urticae

Small Tortoiseshell
Small Tortoiseshell

The reason why every garden should have a nettle patch !

Normally an abundant butterfly, the small tortoiseshell has suffered severe reductions in recent years possibly due to climate change and many wet springs and summers. The butterfly hibernates over winter and emerges early in the year on sunny days. Brightly coloured on top the underwings are remarkably dull and serve as good camouflage when at rest or hibernating. Small Tortoiseshells are very fond of nettles and I recommend that everyone has a wild part to their garden and allow some nettles to grow.

Free Pictures of Common Blue Butterflies - Polyommatus icarus

Common Blue
Common Blue

Where blue becomes gold, the jewel on the heathland

This beautiful butterfly is seen in open grassland and meadow locations. It is probably the commonest of all butterflies and in some locations can be abundant. Only 17 mm in overall width the butterflies are a delight to watch as they dance in the sun. There are many very similar species of blue but this is the only one with a small black spot in the middle of the fore wing underside.

Scotch Argus

Butterflies and the environment

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    • Holly22 profile image
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      Christine and Peter Broster 3 years ago from Tywyn Wales UK

      @socialcx1: I would expect no less. I have a camera that can get close up and they are spectacular. I am off hunting Marsh Fritillaries this year.

    • Holly22 profile image
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      Christine and Peter Broster 4 years ago from Tywyn Wales UK

      @socialcx1: They are fantastic. We go searching as many parks as we can fit in a summer.

    • socialcx1 profile image

      socialcx1 4 years ago

      My wife not so long ago dragged me to a butterfly farm. Guess what? - I loved it.

    • Holly22 profile image
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      Christine and Peter Broster 4 years ago from Tywyn Wales UK

      @KyraB: It is my pleasure.....

    • profile image

      KyraB 4 years ago

      Yes I did enjoy them very much :) Your photos here are so beautiful! Thank you for sharing them and allowing use of them.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      It is so generous of you to allow people to use these butterfly pictures. I have seen Swallowtails abroad but never seen one in the UK -I did not know you could get them in England.

    • rawwwwwws lm profile image

      rawwwwwws lm 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing blessed! BEAUTIFUL

    • GardenIdeasHub LM profile image

      GardenIdeasHub LM 5 years ago

      Your butterfly lens is delightful! Thank you for sharing these amazing pictures.

      The peacock and swallowtail butterflies were my 2 favorites. :}

    • Holly22 profile image
      Author

      Christine and Peter Broster 5 years ago from Tywyn Wales UK

      @LoveAndBeyond: I am just delighted to see my photos posted over the web. Feel free to use wherever you want to.

    • Holly22 profile image
      Author

      Christine and Peter Broster 5 years ago from Tywyn Wales UK

      @anonymous: That is excellent thanks

    • profile image

      LoveAndBeyond 5 years ago

      Beautiful photos!! And so generous of you to let people use them for free:)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      thank you so much for the photoes.they are so pretty.this website helped me a lot.thanks again.

    • profile image

      grannysage 5 years ago

      Awesome photos. Sending to my daughter who has been taking some great nature photos so she can get some ideas. She is also growing flowers to attract butterflies.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 5 years ago

      How generous of you to share these beautiful butterfly photos!

    • Zebedee32 profile image

      Zebedee32 5 years ago

      Some exceptional pictures here and a very informative lens.

    • bigjoe2121 profile image

      bigjoe2121 5 years ago

      I love butterflies! thanks for sharing them :)

    • Holly22 profile image
      Author

      Christine and Peter Broster 5 years ago from Tywyn Wales UK

      @AlleyCatLane: Its a delight for me to share them.

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 5 years ago

      These butterflies are gorgeous. Incredible photography. Thanks so much for offering to share them.

    • Hedremp profile image

      Sandra Wilson 5 years ago from Wilson Education Resource Centre

      beautiful - I enjoy snapping butterfly pictures myself!

    • Holly22 profile image
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      Christine and Peter Broster 5 years ago from Tywyn Wales UK

      @lynnasafriend: thank you for inspiring a newbie

    • Holly22 profile image
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      Christine and Peter Broster 5 years ago from Tywyn Wales UK

      @CharlieBoy3: Once you start its hard to stop

    • Holly22 profile image
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      Christine and Peter Broster 5 years ago from Tywyn Wales UK

      @EMangl: ...I think I sussed the reason

    • Holly22 profile image
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      Christine and Peter Broster 5 years ago from Tywyn Wales UK

      @anonymous: Truly a natural work of art !

    • Holly22 profile image
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      Christine and Peter Broster 5 years ago from Tywyn Wales UK

      @TheresaMarkham: Tickled pink !!! Thank you

    • Holly22 profile image
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      Christine and Peter Broster 5 years ago from Tywyn Wales UK

      @olmpal: Thank you so much

    • Holly22 profile image
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      Christine and Peter Broster 5 years ago from Tywyn Wales UK

      @WriterJanis2: Thank you so much. I am inspired to improve it.

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      olmpal 5 years ago

      Beautiful butterfly photos!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Your pictures are amazing.

    • TheresaMarkham profile image

      TheresaMarkham 5 years ago

      You have created a beautiful - and very helpful - lens here! You are a very talented photographer! Thank you so much!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wow! The Peacock butterfly is beautiful! *Blessed*

    • EMangl profile image

      EMangl 5 years ago

      too bad that flickr is not working properly anymore

    • CharlieBoy3 profile image

      CharlieBoy3 5 years ago

      Beautiful work I do a little macro photography myself.

    • lynnasafriend profile image

      lynnasafriend 5 years ago

      They are beautiful, thank you for sharing :)

    • marigoldina profile image

      Heather B 5 years ago

      Great first lens! I cannot wait to see the other butterfly pictures you add. :-)