Nature Photo Challenge #13: Butterflies

It’s time to share your photographs of the beautiful butterflies that you have met on your travels.

Welcome to Nature Photo Challenge #13. I don’t know about you, but I am really enjoying these challenges. The variety of nature photographs being submitted is enormous, from Europe, USA, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, India, New Zealand, Australia and the Philippines – with more countries being added all the time.

Consequently we are seeing such a variety of nature, that we would otherwise not know. And I continue to be impressed with your enthusiasm to share and to comment on each’s others posts.

For Nature Photo Challenge #13 we focus on Butterflies. Butterflies of course are beautiful, photogenic, and interesting. They deserve to be protected just because they are butterflies and worthy of our love and protection. However, they are also highly useful insects. Below I give six reasons why butterflies should be protected, interspersed with my own photographic submissions to this challenge.

I wish you well in your search for butterflies, your encouragement of butterflies in your gardens, and your love of these delightful creatures.

Brown Argus butterfly
Brown Argus (Aricia agestis)

Butterflies are important pollinators, contributing to the reproduction of various plant species. As they feed on nectar, they transfer pollen from one flower to another, aiding in fertilization and the production of fruits and seeds.

Comma (Polygonia c-album) – with the mark that gives it its name

Butterflies are indicators of a healthy ecosystem. Their presence reflects the diversity and abundance of plants, insects, and other organisms within a given habitat. By protecting butterflies, we preserve and support the overall biodiversity of an ecosystem.

Large Skipper
Large Skipper (Ochlodes venatus)

Butterflies play a crucial role in maintaining ecological balance. They serve as a food source for various predators, including birds, reptiles, and mammals. Their absence could disrupt food chains and negatively impact the entire ecosystem.

Small Copper
Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)

Some butterfly species possess medicinal properties. Their caterpillars and adult forms produce chemical compounds that have been used in traditional medicine to treat ailments and develop pharmaceutical drugs. Preserving butterfly species increases our chances of discovering valuable medicinal resources.

Small Copper
Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)

Butterflies captivate people of all ages and cultures. They serve as valuable educational tools, providing insights into life cycles, adaptation, and ecological interdependencies. Butterflies also hold cultural significance in many societies, symbolizing beauty, transformation, and spiritual growth.

Speckled Wood
Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria)

Due to their sensitivity to environmental changes, butterflies can serve as indicators of ecosystem health. Their population dynamics and distribution patterns can reveal the impacts of habitat loss, climate change, pollution, and other threats. By monitoring butterflies, we can assess the overall well-being of our environment and take appropriate conservation actions.

Speckled Wood for nature photo challenge #13
Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria)

Looking forward to seeing your butterfly pictures!

All photographs © Denzil Walton


  1. This should generate a lot of pretty pictures! Last year, I took part in a weekly butterfly survey (I’m a beginner, so please don’t ask me difficult questions). Every week we did the same walk through several different habitats, and the count was depressingly low most weeks. It’s certainly rare to be surrounded by them, even when conditions are ideal. And here, it’s early yet this year, so I’ll be combing the archives. As perhaps you were too, for your lovely shots?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes Margaret although the early spring ones are out and about. But I agree with you, numbers are down and depressingly so. I remember the times (55 years ago) when the bushes were covered in clouds of butterflies.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. My neighbours know I do a weekly butterfly transect here, and often stop me to ask how they are doing, or to show me a photo they have taken and want an ID for. The importance of monitoring the everyday butterflies, as well as the scarce ones, cannot be overstated when it comes to trying to understand what is happening to them, and what we can do to help them. My contribution to your challenge is from a visit to France oh-so-many-years-ago!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Your photos make me want to go there today Annie! Especially love the variety of fritillaries you saw. Thanks for entering the challenge. Look forward to seeing more of your photos in future ones.


  3. So many beautiful photos Denzil and what a fun and challenging theme you chose for this week!
    I like that you write about the importance of insects, something that many people may not think about. Perhaps mainly those who do not take photographs and who do not spend time in nature. 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  4. […] Nature Photo Challenge 13 Butterfly I added a new butterfly to my photo collection: the Pipeline Swallowtail. It appears to be nothing more than a shadowy, shimmering mirage around the pink cones of Jupiter’s Beard. I set my iPhone on “live” and pointed toward whatever was moved. Luckily I captured a couple of these nearly transparent ghost like butterflies. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, our timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Vince and I went to the Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale, AZ. What a place. They raise their own – about 70 varieties at present. If any escape, there is a wind room for capturing them between the tropical rainforest where they live and the rest of the museum. It was a fascinating place. We have lots of butterflies here naturally, and they gave us some ideas of plants the native butterflies like here. Here’s my post this week.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Trust me you couldn’t, Denzil. It was about 95 degrees and 100% humidity. The butterflies loved it but the rest of us were ready to go back into a cool cocoon after about 20 minutes. It was worth the experience, though, and we cooled off in the reptile and fish areas.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. And this ♀ Catonephele numilia, the blue-frosted banner, blue-frosted Catone, Grecian shoemaker or stoplight Catone, is a butterfly of the family Nymphalidae found in Central and South America.
    There is sexual dimorphism in the adults, with the males being black with six orange dots on the dorsal surface of the wings, whereas females are black with a light yellow band across the centre of the forewings. This butterfly usually flies along the ground and close to the ripe fruits and flowers. It can live a month. Adults feed on rotten fruits, while caterpillars feed on Alchornea species (family Euphorbiaceae).


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