Image: John Pavelka
Red lacewing butterfly
As ecosystems get destroyed by the continuing expansion of humanity into natural areas, the numbers of species start to decline simply due to loss of habitat. Amongst the treasures that seem destined to disappear from the planet are many species of what can surely be seen as natural works of art, in the guise of gorgeously colored and patterned butterflies, whose numbers are diminishing by the day. Here’s a list of seven of the most stunning members of the species.
1) Purple Spotted Swallowtail
The Purple Spotted Swallowtail is without a doubt one very beautiful example, whose habitat is under ever more threat. Found only in the highlands of New Guinea, this lovely butterfly, of the Papilionidae family, is becoming scarcer as mankind encroaches more on the forests where it is found.
Image: D. Gordon E. Robertson
2) Red Lacewing
There are many beautiful butterfly species that inhabit areas in the Philippines, among which is the wonderfully patterned Red Lacewing (pictured on top). Not a species of butterfly in imminent danger, examples have been noted as far apart India, Nepal, China and Indonesia. Notable for the striking coloration as well as the complex patterning, this butterfly is indeed a work of art.
Image: Gregory Phillips
3) Blue Morpho
The Morpho genre comprises several metallic-coloured butterflies, all of which are breathtakingly beautiful. Around the world, it has been established that blue is the overall favorite colour, so it seemed natural to feature this species. Wonderfully glossy and mesmerizing in appearance, the Blue Morpho butterfly, with a wingspan of up to 8 in, can be found in Central and South America and in Mexico.
Image: rahul nahtu
4) Leopard Lacewing
The far east is home to some of the most attractive butterfly species, but perhaps the most striking is the Leopard Lacewing. Brightly coloured, with a truly unique scheme of patterning across the wings, these glorious examples of living art can be seen gracing the skies in India, China and also in the Malay Ppninsula including Singapore.
Image: inachis io
5) Peacock Butterfly
Europe also has a good number of wonderful butterfly species, though possibly the prettiest and most colourful of them is the magnificent Peacock Butterfly, a living testament to the artistic talent nature can display. This fabulous creature can be found both in Europe and in the temperate regions of Asia. Not a large butterfly, the base-color of the wings is a rusty red, and each wingtip carries a distinctive, black, blue and yellow eye spot, which makes this butterfly an unforgettable sight.
6) Australian Painted Lady
The continent of Australia may be largely desert, but it still boasts one of the most stunning butterflies in the world. The glorious named Australian Painted Lady can be found here and in New Zealand. These wonderfully colored creatures migrate south in large numbers from the northern states of Queensland and New South Wales, giving spectators a superb vision of many thousands of living paintings, brightly coloured and uniquely patterned, lighting the heavens with their beauty.
Image: haar fagar
7) Monarch Butterfly
North America is home to another magnificent looking and elegant living artwork in the shape of the Monarch Butterfly. Notable for its orange and black patterns, with a wingspan of around 4 in, this very popular butterfly is also notable for its southward migration and northward return in summer, when millions of individuals paint the sky and landscape with the gorgeous palette of their wonderful colours and markings. This is living art on a monumental scale.
One more species that deserves special mention is a wonderfully coloured and patterned butterfly species known by a variety of names, according to where it is found. Australians known it as Blue Argus, while In India, it is the Blue Pansy. In Africa, it is known by the common name Eyed Pansy, describing the multiple eye spots on its wings. The amazing hues of the colouration make this yet another shining example of just how artistic nature can be. It will be a scandal if the point is ever reached when creatures as lovely as these become nothing more than memories. For the sake of future generations, we must do all we can to conserve them and the rest of the natural world that is currently under threat. Unborn generations yet to come surely deserve nothing less.