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Worlds Most Beautiful Butterflies and How to Attract Butterflies To Your Garden

Updated on December 23, 2015


The butterfly is generally a welcome visitor to a home or garden, though caterpillars can be less so - often being thought of as pests, who eat vegetables, crops and fruits, which makes them fairly unpopular. Because of this, many caterpillars are killed which has inevitably affected many butterfly species' population - some, more so than others.

Not all of the butterflies on this list are rare, but all have spectacular colouring, markings or shape (or all three), which really make them stand out. If you have any butterfly species that you think should be added to this list then please let me know and I will update!

The Tailed Jay

graphium agamemnon

These butterflies are predominantly green and black and are fairly widespread; found in Sri Lanka, Australia, India and Southeast Asia. They are relatively common and feed on the nectar of plants such as Poinsettia, Lantana, Ixora and Mussaenda, though it's primary food plant is Mast Tree.

White Dragontail

lamproptera curius

This butterfly is commonly referred to as the White Dragontail due to the slender, long tips of it's tail and the fact that in flight it is similar to a dragonfly. Lamproptera curius originates from South and Southeast Asia and sadly, is now considered a rare species. It is extremely active and rarely settles for much time, except when feeding on plants such as Illegera platyandra, which is listed as a protected plant in Hong Kong.

It is the smallest butterfly belonging to the swallowtail or 'papilionidea' family, and it's wingspan is usually only about 5cm, which is about half the usual wingspan for swallowtails.

Eastern Comma

polygonia comma

This beautiful little butterfly is relatively common and can be found in England and Wales. The Eastern Comma gets it's name from a small, white marking on the underside of the wing, which is the exact shape of a comma. The jagged, shaped edges of the Comma's wings allow excellent camouflage when it is resting or perched on trees/plants as it looks identical to a dried leaf.

It has a wingspan of 5cm to 6.4cm and feeds on a variety of foods including Nettles, Elm and Willow.

Appolo Parnassius

appolo ssp. norwegicus

The Appolo butterfly is fast becoming exceptionally rare for many reasons - one of which is because they are being collected by butterfly enthusiasts, who want as many of this species as possible (there are also many subspecies). The Appolo is a member of the swallowtail family, and is typically found in flowery mead own and mountainous areas, such as the Alps between France and Italy. They are also found

Southern Festoon

zerynthia polyxena

This stunning and unusual butterfly has a wingspan of 6-8cm and can be seen between April and June in warm, sunny and open areas such as meadows, brushy areas, wasteland and rocky cliffs. They lay their eggs on a variety of plants, but mainly birthworts, especially aristolochia clematitis and are found in Southern and Central Europe. The larvae of this butterfly produce toxins, which make them inedible, meaning that the majority of the Southern Festoon's caterpillars survive.

Red Spotted Purple

limenitis arthemis astyanax

Spicebush Swallowtail

papilio troilus

Butterfly Poll 1

Which of the above species is your favourite?

See results

Bhutan Glory

bhutanis lidderdalii

Sylphina Angel

chorinea sylphina

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

papilio glaucus

Baeotus Baeotus

This remarkably butterfly can be found in Central and South America and also the Caribbean - it is also known as the 'Clown Butterfly' for it's underside markings.

Zebra Swallowtail

eurytides marcellus

Butterfly Poll 2

Which of the above species is your favourite?

See results


papilio ulysses

Red Lacewing

cethasia biblis

Blue Pansy

junonia orithya

Rajah Brookes Birdwing

trogonaptera brookiena

Butterfly Poll 3

Which of the above 5 species is your favourite?

See results

Sara Longwing

heliconius sara

Golden Birdwing

troides aeacus

Alpine Black Swallowtail

papilio mandeii


siproeta stebnes

Kaiser I Hind Swallowtail

teinopaipus imperialis

Butterfly Poll 4

Of the above 5 species, which is your favourite?

See results

Butterflies Everywhere Poll

How many of the species listed above have you seen 'in the flesh'

See results

Let me know your favourite butterfly!

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    • profile image

      Melia 3 years ago

      So that's the case? Quite a reaeovtiln that is.

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 3 years ago from Alabama USA

      I love all of these beautiful butterflies. What a wonderful page.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 3 years ago from Central Florida

      There's a bright blue butterfly that we saw in Australia. I wish I could remember the name. It was stunning.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 3 years ago from Ljubljana

      Love them all!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 3 years ago from United States

      These are all exceptionally beautiful butterflies! Impossible to choose a favorite.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      How can you have a favorite when they are all so beautiful. So nice to see articles that bring something fresh.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 3 years ago

      Wow! This lens is very beautiful I must say it. And my favorite butterfly is Appolo Parnassius though others are very beautiful as well! :)

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 3 years ago from Orange County, California

      These are all so gorgeous! I have never seen an article anything like this before!

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 3 years ago from Washington KS

      What a beautiful lens!! I'm sad that many of them are rare or endangered.

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 3 years ago

      Beautiful lens. I knew a few of them, but after seeing this lens, I now know more. Thanks!