If you’re a regular visitor to this website, you’ll know that I love weird and wacky plants – in fact, you can find loads of them here! But what about weird and wacky insects? There are weird butterflies of all shapes and colours around the world, so I’ve picked out my top seven favourites just for you!
Although many of these varieties aren’t native to the UK (where I’m from), there are many beautiful and unusual varieties here regardless. If you’re taking part in the Big Butterfly Count from 17th July to 9th August 2020, you’ll hopefully be able to spot a few! You can also encourage them to make a habitat in your garden (and divert them away from your homegrown produce) if you create a caterpillar garden – there’s more on how to do this here. And if you’re looking for more info about how to attract all sorts of wildlife to your garden, read my comprehensive article here.
Without further ado, here are my top seven favourite weird butterflies from around the world…
Dead Leaf butterfly
The outside of this butterfly’s wings looks like a dead leaf! They use their leaf-like appearance to help them hide amongst the foliage in Asia’s rainforests.
The Emerald Swallowtail is one of the most colourful butterflies in the world, with its stunning panes of green painted across its wings! It’s mainly found in Southeast Asia.
How incredible is this butterfly?! Its wings feature transparent membranes which allow it to almost camouflage with its surroundings. It’s mainly found across Colombia and Mexico.
The 88 Butterfly is so named because of the double-circle design in the centre of each of its wings, which often form the number 88. It’s native to South and Central America.
Forest Giant Owl Butterfly
You might mistake this stunning butterfly for an owl, with its owl-eye-like markings on its wings! This helps the butterflies to fool predators like lizards or frogs in its native continents of South and Central America.
Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing – the largest butterfly in the world
This incredible butterfly is the largest in the world, with females reaching wingspans in excess of 25cm to 28cm! It has a very small range, being restricted to the forests of the Oro Province in eastern Papua New Guinea.
Western Pygmy Blue – the smallest butterfly in the world
With a wingspan of 1.2cm to 1.9cm, the Western Pygmy Blue is adorably small! Their natural habitat is deserts, salt marshes and barren areas of North and Central America, but they have also been introduced to the Middle East.
What’s your favourite butterfly? Let me know in the comments below!
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan. Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.