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Top 8 Most Beautiful Butterflies in the World

Errah is a bookwormy and logophilic writer and science & technology teacher. He often writes about scientific ideas, theories, and research.

Unquestionably, butterflies are among the most exquisite creatures on the planet. With their multicolored and gorgeous wings, you cannot deny how beautiful and eye-catching they are.

There are over 17,500 different butterfly species that can be found worldwide. Fly around in search of flowers to feast on their nectar. They are available in a variety of sizes, colors, and shapes.

This article will showcase the top 8 most beautiful butterflies on earth.

1. Peacock Butterfly

2. Clipper Butterfly

3. Dragontail Butterflies

4. Starry Night Cracker

5. Paper Kite Butterfly

6. Dead Leaf Butterfly

7. Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing

8. Rajah Brooke’s Birdwing

1. Peacock Butterfly

A Peacock Butterfly

A Peacock Butterfly

The peacock butterfly (Aglais io)is one of the most beautiful butterfly species in the world. The upper part of its wings is rusty red that is bordered by either black or gray and has eyespots with a combination of the hues blue, white, red, yellow, and violet while the underside of the wings is a mixture of black or brown.

Its name comes from the eyespots that resemble those on peacock feathers. The eyespots act as a protective mechanism to ward off potential predators. When threatened, the peacock butterfly expands its wings, showing what appears to be "eyes" that resemble those of larger creatures.

The brown-colored bottom serves as camouflage. The peacock butterfly prefers to lay down with its wings closed, exposing its brown underside blending in with brown vegetation like dried leaves and branches as well as soil to prevent enemies from spotting this delicate creature. This species has another defense mechanism against predators in addition to that. If coloring defense fails, this butterfly makes a hissing noise by rubbing and flapping its wings which scares predators and enables safe escape.

Males and females have identical appearances but only differ in size. The wingspan can reach 7 centimeters (2.5 inches), and females tend to grow slightly larger than males. This butterfly can eat a range of foods. In addition to nectar, it also feeds on tree sap and rotten fruits.

2. Clipper Butterfly

A Clipper Butterfly

A Clipper Butterfly

The clipper butterflies (Parthenos sylvia) are a type of fast-flying butterfly found in Sri Lanka, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. The upper wings of the butterfly are mostly black with patterned dots and stripes; the forewings have noticeable white spots. Similar markings can be seen on the underside, although it is paler. There are more than 25 subspecies of clipper butterflies, and depending on the geographic area in which they are distributed, the wings are tinted with different hues from green to blue to brown to yellow.

The average wingspan of clipper butterflies is 8.8 cm (3.5 in). Because they are cold-blooded, they prefer to rest in a place with natural heat, such as sunlight, to warm their bodies. When their temperature is too low, they are unable to fly or feed. They prefer tiny flowers, and lantana plants are their first choice for nectar sources. They also have been observed mud-puddling in order to drink mineral-rich water accumulated on the soil.

3. Dragontail Butterflies

A White Dragontail Butterfly

A White Dragontail Butterfly

This genus of the butterfly is comprised of two species, the white dragontail butterfly (Lamproptera curius) and green dragonfly butterfly (Lamproptera meges). The members are small, with a wingspan ranging from 4 to 5.5 cm (1.6 to 2.2 in). The wings are relatively small in comparison to their bodies, and because of this, they need to flap rapidly to float and hover in the air. The wings can be described as triangular and transparent with black veins and borders, and depending on the species, they may be patterned with either white or green lines. They also feature lengthy, elongated tails. The tails serve as steers, which aid in changing the butterflies' flight path.

These butterflies roam about and look for food around freshwater sources in tropical and subtropical rainforests of Indochina, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines, South China, and Eastern India. Their host plants are Illigera burmanica and the other species that belong to the genus Zanthoxylum. Males tend to mud-puddling as well.

4. Starry Night Cracker

A Female Starry Night Cracker

A Female Starry Night Cracker

The starry night cracker (Hamadryas laodamia) gets its name from its resemblance to a miniature representation of the night sky. It is black, like the nighttime sky, and has tiny blue specks which resemble stars. In addition to physical coloring, the forewings of females are striped with white. The word "cracker" comes from the cracking sound that the males make when they take off.

This adorable flying insect has a wingspan of 7 cm (2.7 in). It is most common in the Caribbean, but it is also found in other parts of Central America and the South American Amazon jungle. It doesn't go to flowers to drink nectars, instead, it prefers to consume the fluids of rotting fruits. It is drawn to human perspiration as well.

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5. Paper Kite Butterfly

A Paper Kite Butterfly

A Paper Kite Butterfly

The paper kite butterfly (Idea leuconoe), also known as rice paper butterfly, is the largest member of the milkweed butterfly family. It has a wingspan of 12-14 cm (4.7 -5.5 in). It is commonly hailed in the lowland rainforests, gardens, and coastal mangrove forests of the Malaysian peninsula, Sumatra in Indonesia, Borneo, the Philippines, and Taiwan.

This translucent butterfly gets its name from its leisurely flight like a drifting paper catches in the air and its resemblance to a kite constructed from a black-and-white newspaper page. Its coloration serves as a warning to predators that it is poisonous to consume, and the way it flies allows it to more fully display its coloring.

The dead leaf butterfly (Kallima inachus) is fascinating and looks amazing. When the butterfly's wings are closed, they resemble a dead leaf; however, when they are open, their secret beauty is revealed. The underwing looks like a dried leaf; it is brown and features leaf-like veins. This serves as camouflage for protection from predators. The wings are also shaped like leaves, which aids in the addition of its disguise. The butterfly always rests with its wings closed, just displaying its "leaves." The upper portion of the wings has a band of blue, orange, and black, and two white dots stand out within it.

The butterfly shows polyphenism meaning its color changes depending on the season. Its "leaves" appear to be wet dried leaves during the wet season and dry dried leaves during the dry season. It is native to the tropical regions of Southeast, East, and South Asia.

7. Queen Alexandra's Birdwing

A Male Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing

A Male Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing

With a wingspan of nearly 12 inches (1 foot), the Queen Alexandra's birdwing (Ornithoptera alexandrae), is widely regarded as the largest butterfly species on earth. It is endemic to the lowland rainforests of Papua New Guinea. This species shows sexual dimorphism, which means males and females are distinguishable. In comparison to males, females are larger, have wider, more rounded wings, and are brown in color with patches of white, whilst males are more vividly colored, with blues, yellows, and greens that are encircled by black lines. Both sexes have red hair covering their thorax. Because of its beauty, sadly, it is in danger of extinction due to over-collection.

8. Rajah Brooke’s Birdwing

A Male Rajah Brooke’s Birdwing

A Male Rajah Brooke’s Birdwing

The Rajah Brooke’s birdwing (Trogonoptera brookiana) is the national butterfly of Malaysia. Additionally, Borneo, Thailand, Myanmar, and Indonesia are home to it. This insect is huge, measuring 15 to 17 cm (5.9–6.7 in) in wingspan. Males are black with thorax that is coated in red hair, and their wings bear green, tooth-shaped patterns. Females, however, have wings that are totally brown with white patterns.

In its genus, there is only two species total; the second being is the Palawan birdwing butterfly whose males have more subtle green markings on their wings.

Sources of Information:

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Errah Caunca

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