5. Alpine Black Swallowtail (Papilio maackii)Considered as one of the biggest butterflies in the world, the Alpine Swallowtail butterflies have a wingspan ranging from 12-14 Cm. What’s interesting about these butterflies is that the top wings of the male are black in color but have a thin green layer speckled on the black base. This gives it the greenish emerald like shimmer when light hits the surface of the wings. Both genders of this species radiate a spectrum of colors depending on which angle they are viewed from.
4. The Apollo Butterfly (Parnassius apollo)The Apollo butterfly is of such interest to collectors, that the populations of this species is in a constant decline owing to the large number of butterflies captured for collecting each year. This species of butterfly is mainly found in the Alps, and what makes them so strikingly beautiful are the distinct large black eye like spots on their white wings. These spots have a black border with a tinge of red splashed in the middle. What’s interesting is that this red color changes in intensity from bright red to pale orange, as the day progresses from an overhead sun to a less intense sun, respectively.
3. The Australian Painted Lady (Vanessa kershawi)As the name suggests, this kind of butterfly is mostly confined to Australia, and has a significant amount of similarity to the the Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa cardui), only differing in size. This species of butterfly has wings with a brown base color topped with with black. The brown color may change to brick red. There are eye-spot patterns on the lower wings on this butterfly, with a tinge of blue in the center, allowing for a beautiful contrast with the intense red of brown background.
2. The Blue Pansy butterfly (Junonia orithya)The blue pansy butterfly is endemic to the Indian subcontinent, South Africa and parts of Australia. These belong to the family Nymphalidae, a species of butterfly of known interest because they hold their wings flat at resting and only rest on four of their six legs, raising the other two. The male has a higher aesthetic appeal in this species, with a bright ocean blue colored lower wing set, consisting of two pairs of eye-spots filled with bright orange. The upper wing is pitch black in males, while the females have a fading brown upper wing set. The males participate in spiral dancing occasionally, and both sexes are sun loving.
1 The European Peacock Butterfly (Aglais io)ln 1634, the physician to King Charles I, Sir Theodore de Mayerne, noted a species of butterfly that he quoted “shine curiously like stars, and do cast about them sparks of the colors of the Rainbow”. This species also belongs to the Nymphalidae family, and is considered one of the most beautiful butterflies in the world, owing to the big spots on its upper wings which reflect a spectrum of different colors, depending on the angle at which light hits them. This species is distributed through majority of Europe, excluding Scandinavia.