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Pretty Green Butterfly

Emerald Elegance: Exploring the World of Green Butterflies

Entomology is the study of insects and within this scientific field “green butterflies”. It is not a term that would be applied to a specific butterfly species. In fact, butterflies come in many different colors and this includes various green shades. Some butterflies may appear to have green wings due to an iridescent or metallic effect. But, this is often caused when sunlight interacts with their tiny wing scales.


Other butterflies have green markings or patterns on their wings. They can be found in many different regions around the world. It’s this last group that we will focus on. Let’s take a look at eight green butterflies in more detail and answer some FAQs about them.


Eight Green Butterflies


1/ Tailed Jay Butterfly:


The Tailed Jay butterfly (Graphium agamemnon) belongs to the Papilonidae family. It’s native to South and Southeast Asia in a number of countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand.

Tailed Jay butterfly


This butterfly has a striking appearance with long and distinct tails on the hindwings which is the source of their common name. The wings are mainly black, but there are green and electric blue markings.

The male and female Tailed Jay butterflies look similar, but the female wingtails are larger.


This butterfly is typically found in gardens and tropical forests where they feed on flower nectar. They are hard butterflies to catch because they have fast and erratic flight patterns. This is good luck for the Tailed Jay because it’s considered to be an attractive and highly sought species amongst butterfly collectors.


2/ Green Hairstreak Butterfly


The Green Hairstreak butterfly (Callophrys rubi) is probably one of the most overlooked green butterflies on our list. This butterfly is small and usually overlooked, it belongs to the Lycaenidae family which are sometimes referred to as “gossamer-winged butterflies”.

Green Hairstreak butterfly


This butterfly has a vibrant green coloration on the underside of its wings which is the source of its common name. The upper side of their wings is typically dull brown with orange spots at the wing edge tips. These colors camouflage amongst the leaves when their wings are folded.


The Green Hairstreak butterflies perch on low vegetation and they are extremely territorial. They feed on nectar and they are especially drawn to plants with purple flowers.


These butterflies can be found in Europe, certain territories in Asia, and parts of North Africa. Due to habitat loss and a change in land use for agricultural purposes, the Green Hairstreak is a species of conservation interest. There are efforts underway to protect their habitats to ensure that this attractive and valuable butterfly species survives and thrives again.


3/ Malachite Butterfly


Malachite Butterfly on flowerThe Malachite butterfly (Siproeta stelenes) is a large and attractive specimen found in Central and South American tropical regions. The butterfly belongs to the Nymphalidae family which includes a number of butterfly species that have intricate and colorful wings.


This butterfly has a striking green and black coloration which looks like the malachite mineral, hence the common name. The wings have a dark green color covered with black patterns and markings that vary a little in each butterfly. The wing undersides are brown with eye spots to deter predators.


Malachite butterflies are fast and strong fliers, they flutter at the edges of forests, woods, and rain forests and they can be hard to photograph. As caterpillars, they are black with orange spots and their body is covered with rows of spines.


4/ Emerald Swallowtail Butterfly


Emerald Swallowtail Butterfly on purple flower

The Emerald Swallowtail Butterfly is not a species specific term, but it’s often applied to the Green-Banded Swallowtail (Papilio palinurus).

This butterfly belongs to the Papilionidae family and it’s typically found in Asian and Southeast Asian nations, such as China, Japan, Taiwan, and others.


The Emerald butterfly has a striking appearance with black wings covered with bright green patches or bands.

This species feeds on nectar from a wide variety of flowers and they are often observed in forested areas. The caterpillars feed on citrus plants and trees to grow in size and strength for the transformation to adult butterflies.


5/ Dido Butterfly


Dido Butterfly on LeavesThe Dido Butterfly is the common name of the Dido Longwing (Battus polydamas). This butterfly belongs to the Papilonidae family and this species is found in North, Central, and South American regions.


The Dido has distinctive patterns and coloration, the upper side of the wings are black with iridescent green and bright blue markings.


The wingspan size varies from 3” up to 4” (7.5-10 cm). The underside of the wings has similar, but paler markings and long tails on the hind wings.


The Dido caterpillars feed on Aristolochiaceae family plants which includes pipe vines. These caterpillars are unpalatable to predators because they absorb toxic compounds from the plants they feed upon.


The adult Dido Butterfly is a graceful and slow flier that can be observed fluttering in gardens and open spaces.


6/ Cleopatra Butterfly


The scientific name for the Cleopatra Butterfly is Gonepteryx cleopatra and this species belongs to the Pieridae family. This butterfly is often referred to as Cleopatra’s Butterfly or as the Cleopatra Brimstone.

Cleopatra Butterfly on Lavender


It’s found in parts of Europe, Asia, and North Africa and this butterfly is held in high regard because of its distinctive bright coloration.


Both sexes of the species have sexual dimorphism which means that they look different. The females have a subdued look with green-yellow wings for camouflage against predators. But, the males of the species have bright yellow wings covered with black markings.


The favored habitat for this species is warm and sunny gardens, scrub land, and open woodland areas. Cleopatra Butterfly feeds on nectar from many flowering plants and they emerge early in the year.


In many southern places, this is the first butterfly that will be seen in spring. The Cleopatra moniker is probably derived from the regal appearance which is reminiscent of the famous Egyptian ruler from antiquity.


7/ Gaudy Baron


Caterpillar of the Commom Gaudy Baron
Caterpillar of the Commom Gaudy Baron

The scientific name for the Gaudy Baron butterfly is Euthalia lubentina and this species belongs to the Nymphalidae butterfly family. This butterfly may be referred to as the Purple Duke and it’s found in various Asian nations, including India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and more.

Gaudy Baron Butterfly
Gaudy Baron (Euthalia lubentina) butterfly




This butterfly has black wings with bright green and blue or purple bands and markings with a wing span of 3-4 inches (7.5-10 cm). Under the wings, the colors and patterns are designed to provide camouflage on foliage when the wings are folded.


There is some sexual dimorphism in the colors, the males of the species have more intense blues, greens, and purple hues and the females have paler and duller tones.


The Gaudy Baron butterflies are found in gardens and forests where they feed on nectar and play a key role as pollinators. The common name of the butterfly is reference to its showy and bright appearance and this is especially true in the males of the species.


8/ Paris Peacock Swallowtail


Paris Peacock, swallowtail butterfly
Paris Peacock, swallowtail butterfly

The delightfully named Paris Peacock Swallowtail butterfly can be more accurately referred to by its scientific name which is Papilio pais and it belongs to the Papiliondae family. This butterfly is commonly referred to as the Paris Peacock Swallowtail or simply as a Paris Peacock.


This butterfly is found in certain South Asian nations, including India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and others. The Paris Peacock has vibrant colors, the upper side of the wings are black with iridescent green and blue markings that look like peacock feature eye spots.


Paris Peacock caterpillar
Paris Peacock Caterpillar

This species is sexually dimorphic so the males and females of the species do look different. The males have longer and more prominent tails on the hind wings and their coloration is generally brighter and more vivid.

Paris Peacock Swallowtail butterflies are typically found in gardens and at the edge of forested areas where they feed on nectar from flowering plants.


FAQ’s- Green Butterflies


Are Green Butterflies Numerous?


This is a hard question to answer definitively because there are many butterfly species that have some green colors or shades on their wings and/or bodies. This can vary from striking and vivid to muted and part of their natural camouflage against predators.


So, there are many butterflies that have some green colors, but many of them would not be loosely defined as “green butterflies” like those detailed above.


Does a Green Butterfly Observation Have a Deeper Meaning?



There are many cultures around the world that try to quantify the meaning of “green butterfly” encounters. They may attach special significance to butterflies and the species observed can mean different things.


Broadly speaking, there are four main interpretations applied to the viewing of a “green butterfly”:


  • Change and Hope: Green is a color that’s linked with positive changes and hope for the future. So, it should come as no surprise that observing a “green butterfly” is often interpreted as a harbinger of a switch from a transitional phase to a more positive change.
  • Health and Balance: The color green is linked to the heart chakra in certain spiritual traditions around the world. So, the observation of a “green butterfly” could be interpreted as a connection to healing, balance, motion, and spiritual growth.
  • Growth and Renewal: As a natural color, green is closely associated with nature, growth, and renewal and this could symbolize similar life changes for the observer.
  • Spiritual Guidance: Many cultures believe that butterflies are spiritual messengers that can send signs from loved ones that have passed. This can offer solace during a recent bereavement or guidance and reassurance to grow from the experience.


Are Green Butterflies Considered to be Lucky?


Variety of Green Butterflies
Variety of Green Butterflies

This perception will vary depending on the viewer’s superstitions, their cultural beliefs, and how they choose to view the world. Some traditions and cultures attach a great deal of significance and symbolism to butterflies and their coloration.


The concept of luck can be hard to define, but any encounter with a beautiful green butterfly can feel lucky. This could have a deeper interpretation based on the viewer’s outlook, but seeing a “green butterfly” in nature would be hard to classify as an unlucky event.


Conclusion- Green Butterflies


Although the term “green butterflies” may be imprecise, the species covered in our article are fascinating examples that can fascinate the observer. The observation of the butterflies has special significance in many cultures and it’s easy to understand why that is the case. We can observe the entire lifespan of a “green butterfly” in a single season and their struggles to survive and thrive are a true inspiration.


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