These Beautiful Butterflies Will Take Your Breath Away
This colourful gallery features winged wonders from across the country, both in the wild and in conservatories. It'll send you soaring!
What if we told you that this orange butterfly is not a monarch? Paul O’Toole snapped this gorgeous shot of a viceroy, which is often mistaken for a monarch butterfly. The viceroy, however, has a black line across its hind wings, and is slightly smaller than its dopplegänger.
Just Hanging Out
Norma Keith snapped this brightly-coloured butterfly at the Niagara Falls Butterfly Conservatory as it hung from a leafy plant. The contrast between the red and the green is striking—thanks for sharing, Norma!
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Soft Place to Land
Norma also captured this lovely action shot of a black and white butterfly landing on a leaf. The perfect place to give its wings a rest, the leaf almost looks like a cozy blanket.
Check out more of Norma’s pretty photos in this gallery showcasing the best of Nova Scotia.
Sharing a Snack
These best buds are sharing a delicious treat of lilac nectar at Edwards Gardens in Toronto. Photographer Richard Bourdeau does wonders capturing these magnificent monarchs as they show off their wings from different angles.
Feast your eyes on butterflies galore at these must-see botanical gardens from every province.
Show Your Stripes
This striking tiger swallowtail found a pretty perch on a mock orange bush. Roberta Snow of Kelowna, B.C. snapped this shot at precisely the right moment.
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When Puppies Fly
Deb Sandau’s furry friend was too sweet not to include in this gallery of butterfly pictures. “She may need some bigger wings!” Deb writes. “Our pup was having a blast doing her best imitation of a butterfly.” We think she did a phenomenal job!
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Magnificent Moth (Yes, They Exist)
Though this isn’t a butterfly picture, Brian Lambert’s photo of a silk moth shows that butterflies have some competition as the prettiest insect (when they’re not munching on your clothes, of course).
“I discovered this giant silk moth on a PEI beach a few years ago,” Brian writes. “It was looking pretty tattered and wet, so I picked it up, put it on my hat and continued walking the beach. When we got back to our beach chairs, it perched on the hat with us until it was time to go home. We travelled about 25 minutes by car and it did not not try to escape. After getting home, I went online to see what kind of animal it was and what to feed it. I discovered it was giant silk moth and that the adult moths do not eat. A day later, it laid eggs which we kept until they hatched. We fed the tiny larvae until they grew to over three inch in length and formed pupae.”
Thanks for sharing your close encounter, Brian.
Planning a trip to PEI? Be sure to add these essential east coast experiences to your itinerary.
This monarch is simply majestic as it prepares to land on a goldenrod stalk. Frank Rodin’s flawless composition earns this beauty a prime spot in our gallery of the best butterfly pictures.
“Last year, my beautiful lilacs attracted many yellow swallowtails!” writes Lynn Mabley of Hinton, Alberta. This butterfly must love the flower’s sweet scent as much as we do.
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“I was watching these beautiful butterflies fluttering around when all of the sudden, they landed on the cone flower to enjoy some nectar,” writes Isabelle Marozzo. “I was lucky to capture both at the same time as a few seconds later, one moved on.”
Check out these candid photos that were also taken at just the right moment.
Painted Lady at Peace
Paula Brown photographed this resting painted lady butterfly from her garden in Ottawa. “The butterfly looks so peaceful!” she writes. We couldn’t agree with you more.
You’ll find more of Paula’s photography in this gallery of spectacular rainbow pictures.
Frank Rodin of Sarnia, Ontario, took this gorgeous picture of a black swallowtail on a zinnia flower. Talk about making contrasting colours pop!
Check out these fall pictures from across Canada for more striking colour contrasts.
Smell the Roses
We can all learn from this stunning butterfly who took a moment to stop and smell the roses. Fredricton’s Laura McArthur took this perfect shot—it’s so vivid we can almost smell the blossoms ourselves!
If you’re enjoying our gallery of butterfly pictures, you’re sure to love this round-up of the most beautiful waterfalls in Canada.
You Were All Yellow
Here’s another beauty from Laura, this time with an all-yellow theme. This lovely swallowtail rushing to a petunia is sure to add some sunshine to your day!
For more striking samples of Laura’s photography, check out this gallery of sweet chipmunk photos.
A Beautiful Flower
“This butterfly at the Victoria Butterfly Gardens landed on my mother’s head and proceeded to do a walk about,” writes photographer Tricia Parker. “My mother was nervous about pushing it away fearing she might hurt it, so she just waited patiently as it explored where it landed. I snapped this shot just as it made its way across her face. I think this butterfly decided my mom was a beautiful flower!”
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Spread Your Wings
This stunningly symmetrical anicia checkerspot was photographed by Glenn Dreger of Kamloops, B.C. Fun fact: did you know that butterflies actually have four wings instead of two? In this snap, you can clearly see all four!
You’re in Lilac
We’re feeling pretty lucky that Glenn captured this yellow swallowtail on lilacs in full bloom. With this incredible close-up view, you can practically see every little hair on the butterfly’s body!
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An American in Ontario
In this shot by Frank Rodin, an American lady butterfly is resting on a spiky looking cone flower in Ontario. Can butterflies get dual citizenship?
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“I followed this one monarch butterfly closely as it flitted from clover blossom to clover blossom,” writes Karen Cook. “I think it is always a special occasion to spot one of these beauties! When it finally rested to drink the nectar, I started snapping photo after photo. I couldn’t help but think that the butterfly almost had a wrinkled look to it but never gave it much thought. It wasn’t until I started going through the photos I had taken that I was stunned to realize I had captured the moment that the butterfly had freed itself from its chrysalis. If you look closely, you can see the remnant of the chrysalis clinging to the butterfly’s body. The cremaster or support hook and gold rim are clearly evident. Monarch butterflies are listed as a species at risk here in Nova Scotia, so I felt honored to have witnessed this transformation. Happy birthday, little one!”
Check out more of Karen’s amazing photos in this showcase of beautiful Canadian lighthouses.
Gloria Pawliuk’s shot was a welcome addition to this gallery of beautiful butterfly pictures. The petals of the flowers almost mirror the shape of the butterfly’s wings, as does the white colouring. Simply stunning!
Here’s more fantastic flower photography from across the country.
Eye of the Owl
Marnie Bonnett snapped a photo of this owl butterfly at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory—a great day trip from Toronto. Marnie notes that this is a fantastic place to see and take pictures of butterflies not normally found in Canada. We’ll be adding it to our itinerary, for sure!
This fuzzy friend is an Arctic blue butterfly captured by Russ Hayes of Sherbrooke, Quebec. It looks so rare and delicate as it perches on the purple vetch flowers.
Check out more of Russ’s photography in this gallery of garden life in extreme close-up.
This malachite takes a praying mantis-like stance at it lands on some wonderful white flowers. Another stunner from Marnie Bonnett at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory, this butterfly is native to Central and South America.
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This stunning black swallowtail rests its weathered wings in what looks like a perfect field for frolicking. Thanks to photographer Beatrice Rauch of Cobourg, Ontario, for sharing this serene shot.
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“There is a challenge to capturing a shot of a beautiful butterfly that appeals to me,” writes Marnie Bonnet. “It is not always a successful venture! I not only try to get a crisp shot of various butterflies, but also butterflies on a variety of flowers. This dark admiral butterfly on the pale hydrangea was perfect!”
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“The first week in June will always be magical for me,” writes Patti Parker. “I remember stepping out onto my porch and looking with eyes wide open at my lilac tree and seeing dozens of eastern swallowtail butterflies enjoying the blooms. I spent the whole week watching and snapping photos of these beauties as they fluttered from branch to branch.”
Here’s more fantastic backyard photography from Our Canada contributors.
This gem from Cindy Herbert is a gleaming addition to our gallery of the best butterfly pictures. The butterfly’s green spots match perfectly with the leaves, almost creating the illusion that its wings are perforated with holes.
Here are more gorgeous green-hued photos from across Canada.
Cheryl Power of Barrie, Ontario, caught this magnificent blue butterfly on a bed of ravishing red flowers. Those are some striking primary colours!
These closeup photos of Canadian birds will take your breath away.
Homegrown Honeyed Hues
“I grew some sunflowers from seeds and this thirsty monarch feasted on them before going south,” writes Heather McIlravey. These honeyed hues will sweeten anyone’s day!
Check out more cheery sunflower photography.
Small But Mighty
This compact-looking butterfly is just so adorable! Karen Allin snapped this great grab that confirms that green in the new black.
If you enjoyed these butterfly pictures, be sure to check out this showcase of the most beautiful places in Canada.