10 Butterfly Colors and Their Meanings (Symbolism)

butterfly colors and meanings

Butterflies are some of the most beautiful insects in existence. Unlike other creepy crawlies that often inspire fear and disgust, we love butterflies. 

But what do butterfly colors mean? If you’re curious about butterfly colors and meanings, read on. 

I’ll cover the most common butterfly colors and explain their significance. So, you’ll soon be an expert on the mysteries of butterfly colors and what they could mean for you. 

Butterfly Symbolism

Butterflies are found across the globe, on every continent apart from Antarctica. They carry meanings and symbolism from culture to culture and in different religions.

butterfly colors and meanings

For many cultures, the butterfly has connotations of life and death. It is a fragile and delicate insect with a short life span. 

For example, in Chinese mythology, white butterflies represent the souls of the ancestors. And in Japan, a butterfly could even be a message sent from a deceased loved one. 

According to Celtic beliefs, butterflies can travel between this life and the afterlife. Their powers of flight and ethereal bodies are magical and otherworldly. 

And because of their life cycle, butterflies can symbolize birth, metamorphosis, and reincarnation. Others see the butterfly as a symbol of blossoming into your true self. (Just as the caterpillar transforms into the butterfly). 

Color Wheel – Butterfly Color Meaning

So, what do butterfly colors mean? Let’s look at the symbolism and significance of different butterfly colors. 

Green Butterfly Meaning 

green butterfly color meaning

In China, green butterflies symbolize life in all its beauty and liveliness. As green is the color of nature, it makes sense that it means something so vibrant and alive. 

And in many other cultures, the color green signifies wealth and prosperity. So, seeing a green butterfly could mean fortune and riches are coming your way. 

Green butterflies are very rare, although they do exist. Examples are the Luna moth and the green hairstreak

As these butterflies can camouflage themselves, they are also very lucky creatures. So, they’re likely to live longer than brighter butterflies that stand out more. 

Blue Butterfly Meaning

blue butterfly meaning

Blue butterflies are some of the most stunning varieties. Their rich blue coloring is eye-catching and jewellike. 

Some of the most well-known is the common blue, the Adonis blue, and the blue morpho. 

So, what does this color mean? We associate the color blue with knowledge, intellect, and imagination. As a result, one interpretation of blue butterflies could be as creatures of wisdom. 

But this color is also the color of the sea and sky. It represents freedom, tranquility, and peace. 

Often, a blue butterfly is seen as a symbol of luck and fortune. So, you don’t need to worry if you see one fly by. 

Brown Butterfly Meaning

brown butterfly meaning

These earthy butterflies aren’t as bright as the other insects on this list. But that means they can camouflage themselves easily against trees and branches. 

As a result, they are hardy, wise, and practical creatures. Their coloring is a defense mechanism that makes them hard to see.

We often consider brown a dull, boring color. But it can also be beautiful in its own way, especially when combined with other colors. 

For example, many brown butterflies have yellow or orange patches on them, too. 

Purple Butterfly Meaning

purple butterfly meaning

Purple is a rich, luxurious color with links to royalty and the monarchy. In the past, only the nobles could wear this color. So, it suggests wealth, power, and connections. 

This color can also mean wisdom and spirituality. So, a purple butterfly could send you a message from a loved one who passed on. 

Purple is a magical, mysterious color. So, count yourself lucky if you see a purple butterfly! 

However, very dark purple can convey sadness and grief. So, it depends on the exact shade of the butterfly. 

Red Butterfly Meaning

red butterfly meaning

Red butterflies are eye-catching and beautiful. But this color has many meanings, many of which also apply to butterflies. 

For example, red can mean love, romance, and sensuality. But it can also signify danger and act as a warning sign. 

One butterfly that uses the color red to ward off predators is the Monarch butterfly. This insect is toxic to frogs, birds, lizards, and mice. So, its vibrant red coloring warns any hungry predators to find a different snack to eat. 

Koreans consider red butterflies to be evil and avoid touching them at all costs. 

But not all cultures dislike red butterflies. For example, in Native American beliefs, the red butterfly is passionate and powerful. 

Orange Butterfly Meaning

orange butterfly meaning

Orange is one of the most common colors for butterflies, but it’s by no means boring. 

These creatures are stunning with their rich, vibrant colors. Examples include the gulf fritillary and the painted lady butterfly. 

We consider orange to convey freshness and vivacity. It’s a cheerful color, so an orange butterfly can herald joy in your love. 

But as orange is similar to the color red, it can also signify passion and love. So, seeing an orange butterfly could mean that love will come your way soon. 

Yellow Butterfly Meaning

yellow butterfly meaning

Yellow is the color of sunshine, flowers, and fruit. This color can mean happiness, hope, and fun. So, if you see a yellow butterfly, it’s generally a good sign. 

As yellow is close to gold on the color wheel, it can also symbolize wealth and good fortune. 

Pink Butterfly Meaning

pink butterfly meaning

Pink is the color of femininity and girlhood in our times. But in the past, pink didn’t have the same connotations. It wasn’t seen as a girly color like it is now. 

This delicate color can mean love without any sensuality or passion. So, it could be the love for your family and friends, rather than romantic love. 

Either way, pink butterflies look gorgeous. So, if you see a pink butterfly, take a moment to enjoy its beauty!  

White Butterfly Meaning

white butterfly meaning

White butterflies are often seen flitting around on flowers in the summertime. But while they are prolific, these butterflies have an otherworldly meaning. 

In Celtic mythology, these butterflies carry the souls of the deceased. So, make sure you don’t hurt or kill a white butterfly.  

White is also the color of purity and innocence. Some people say they are drawn to people who are honest and pure in their hearts. So, if a white butterfly visits you, consider yourself lucky. 

Black Butterfly Meaning

black butterfly meaning

Did you know that there are black butterflies? True, these butterflies are pretty rare. But examples include the Black Swallowtail and the Red Admiral. 

As you can see, these butterflies are not pure black. They usually have some other colors or patterns mixed in. 

Generally, black has many negative connotations. We associate the color black with death, morning, and danger. 

So, you could consider a black butterfly as a harbinger of death. And that’s why many people dislike black butterflies, as they fear what it may mean for them. 

But undeniably, black butterflies are beautiful in an unusual and unique way. 

The Wrap Up

Butterflies come in a rainbow of colors and almost every shade you could imagine. 

These stunning insects will brighten up your day with their delicate beauty. There’s nothing like watching a butterfly flitter from flower to flower on a summer day. 


But now, you’ll have a good understanding of what each butterfly color means, too. Knowing the meaning of butterflies and their colors will make you love them even more. 

What is your favorite color butterfly? And what do butterflies mean to you?  Let me know in the comments below!

And follow 123inspiration for more resources and tips on all things color theory. 

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