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!

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Butterfly Pictures Viceroy On Yellow Flower
Photo: Paul O'Toole

Vivacious Viceroy

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.

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Butterfly Pictures Colourful Butterfly
Photo: Norma Keith

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!

Discover more unique activities to do in Niagara Falls.

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Butterfly Pictures Black And White Butterfly Feeding
Photo: Norma Keith

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.

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Butterfly Pictures Monarchs Sharing A Meal
Photo: Richard Bourdeau

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.

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Butterfly Pictures Tiger Swallowtail On Mock Orange Bush
Photo: Roberta Snow

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.

Find out the fascinating story behind every provincial flower.

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Butterfly Pictures Dog Wearing Butterfly Wings
Photo: Deb Sandau

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!

These hilarious dog jokes will put a smile on your face.

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Butterfly Pictures Silk Moth
Photo: Brian Lambert

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.

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Butterfly Pictures Monarch Landing On Goldenrod
Photo: Frank Rodin

Golden Flower

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.

Explore Canada’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders.

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Butterfly Pictures Swallowtail On Lilac
Photo: Lynn Mabley

Lovely Lilacs

“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.

Find out which plants will attract birds and butterflies to your garden so you too can take beautiful butterfly pictures!

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Butterfly Pictures Butterflies Enjoying Nectar
Photo: Isabelle Marozzo

Flutter Friends

“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.

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Butterfly Pictures Painted Lady On Flower
Photo: Paula Brown

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.

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Butterfly Pictures Black Swallowtail On Zinnia Flower
Photo: Frank Rodin

Zesty Zinnia

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.

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Butterfly Pictures Monarch On Roses
Photo: Laura McArthur

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.

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Butterfly Pictures Swallowtail On Petunias
Photo: Laura McArthur

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.

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butterfly pictures - butterfly on woman's glasses
Photo: Tricia Parker

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!”

Don’t miss these Victoria attractions on your next visit.

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Butterfly Pictures Anicia Checkerspot
Photo: Glenn Dreger

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!

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Baird's Swallowtail On Lilac
Photo: Glenn Dreger

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!

Find out the best places to see cherry blossoms in Canada.

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American Lady Butterfly On Cone Flower
Photo: Frank Rodin

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?

Don’t miss these funny Canadian animals caught on camera!

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Monarch Post Chrysalis
Photo: Karen Cook

Butterfly Birthday

“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.

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Butterfly On White Flowers
Photo: Gloria Pawliuk

Petal Power

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.

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Owl Butterfly On Tree
Photo: Marnie Bonnett

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!

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Arctic Blue Butterfly
Photo: Russ Hayes

Arctic Blues

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.

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Malachite Butterfly
Photo: Marnie Bonnett

Mantis Stance

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.

Here are more hidden gems in Ontario that are well worth exploring.

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Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Photo: Beatrice Rauch

Weathered Wings

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.

Find out why Cobourg is such a popular filming location for your favourite TV shows and movies.

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Dark Admiral Butterfly On Hydrangea
Photo: Marnie Bonnett

Mission Accomplished

“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!”

You’ll wish you knew these flower photography tips sooner.

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Yellow Swallowtail On Lilac
Photo: Patti Parker

June Visitors

“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.

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Brown And Green Butterfly
Photo: Cindy Herbert

Glamorous Green

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.

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Blue Butterfly
Photo: Cheryl Power

Perfect Primaries

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.

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Monarch On Sunflower
Photo: Heather McIlravey

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.

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Green And Black Butterfly
Photo: Karen Allin

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.

Originally Published in Our Canada

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