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9 Butterfly Colors Meanings and Symbolism

Here is the meaning of the butterfly colors so you can learn about these powerful little creatures!

Butterfly colors are one of the most aesthetically pleasing parts of nature. They are so unique and fascinating that seeing a butterfly flutter around can be heartwarming.

For many people, butterflies themselves are magnificent and symbolic insects that send powerful visual messages through divine forces. They carry not only a spiritual meaning but also bring messages.

Some cultures associate the butterfly with the soul, and some interpret them as a symbol of life and resurrection.

In this article, we will learn the symbolic meanings of butterfly colors in different religions and cultures. And since colors are a huge part of a butterfly’s charm, we will look at the interpretation of varying butterfly colors meanings.

Butterfly colors meaning chart
Butterfly colors meaning chart

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Butterfly Colors in Different Religions and Cultures

A butterfly is a metaphor and symbol of transformation in many cultures. Their journey from the caterpillar stage to the cocoon and then a mature cheerful creature is similar to a human’s journey, especially on a spiritual level. 

Butterfly symbolism differs from culture to culture. Some cultures see them as souls, some as messengers from the spirit world, while others simply see them as a symbolic representation of positivity, luck, and good news.

Butterfly Colors in Religions

The extraordinary life cycle of the butterfly holds deep spiritual meanings in Christianity, and a butterfly is associated with reincarnation and rebirth.

Some Christian theologians also see butterflies as a representative of the resurrection of Christ. This is similar to Egyptian culture, where butterflies symbolize resurrection.

In the Jewish culture, a butterfly known as Tziporet Kramim was mentioned and revered in a text written by Elchanan Levinski. In Islam, some believe butterfly represents the closeness to their end in the world.

In Wiccan culture, it is believed that observing butterfly colors closely will help one unlock the mysteries of life. The Wiccans also believe the butterfly totem represents light, joy, and color.

The people of Bwa in Africa regard swarms of butterflies as a sign that the rainy season has begun. In Feng Shui, the butterfly symbolizes beauty and long life.

Butterfly color meanings

Butterfly Colors Around the World

Like Feng Shui, Chinese culture believes the butterfly represents longevity. Japanese culture associates the butterfly with feminine beauty and short-lasting joy.

Also, Chinese mythology believes white butterflies are the souls of the deceased, and green butterflies are a symbol of life.

Japanese associate white butterflies with the souls of the deceased, so it’s believed that seeing one is a sign that your ancestor or someone is trying to reach out to you from the spirit realm.

Beyond that, two butterflies flying together is a sign that a marriage is blessed according to Japanese culture. Romans share a similar belief as butterflies represent blissful weddings and marriages in their culture.

Red origami butterfly

Vietnamese has the same pronunciation for butterfly and long age, and as such, the butterfly represents longevity.

In Turkish culture, butterflies are a reminder to make friends with like-minded people.

Meanwhile, Ancient Aztec associated butterflies with comfort; they believed they are like guardian angels sent by their ancestors or loved ones who had passed away. It’s also considered rude to smell flowers from the top because that’s where the butterflies (read: souls) land.

Similarly, the Mayans saw butterflies as the souls of their warriors who have passed away.

The Celts believe butterflies are unique creations that can move between the physical and supernatural realms.

They also think that white butterflies carry the souls of those who have passed, so it’s wrong to put an end to a white butterfly.

Silhouette of black and white butterfly

In Greek mythology, the butterfly symbolizes the Goddess Psyche, goddess of soul and wife of Eros. Also, ancient Greek cultures view a butterfly as a symbol of the soul and immortality.

Mexicans and Australian Aboriginals associate butterflies with the souls of their past warriors.

Every year in Mexico, during the Dia de Los Muertos, monarch butterflies arrive in the country where they’re considered to be the souls of their ancestors returning to visit on this occasion.

In England’s world of myths, butterflies represent the souls of the deceased, and they may be evil.

Also, they have different butterflies meanings depending on the number flying: four butterflies are witches, while three butterflies represent luck.

Native Americans revere butterflies and also have different butterflies meanings.

The Blackfoot people, for instance, believe that butterflies deliver dreams, bring peaceful sleep, and bring messages from the supernatural world. The Najavo accept butterflies as a symbol of happiness and rebirth.

Butterfly color with smoke

Butterfly Facts

  • The butterfly wings are actually transparent. These wings have miniature scales that reflect different colors, and that’s what you see.
  • There are about 20,000 species of butterflies, many of which are in the Amazon Rainforest, and they are distributed worldwide except in Antarctica. One of the largest butterflies is the Giant Swallowtail Butterfly, with a wingspread of 4-7 inches.
  • Butterflies don’t live long. Those beautiful creatures don’t live more than just a few weeks. They have an average lifespan of 3-4 weeks, so the butterfly you found in your garden a month ago may never appear again.
  • Butterflies taste with their feet because that’s where their taste receptor is located.
  • Despite being shortsighted, butterflies see a wide range of ultraviolet colors that a human eye can’t see.
  • Butterflies can fold their wings to blend into the background when they want to make themselves invisible to predators. Sometimes, they wear a full spectrum of colors to scare away the predators.
  • Butterflies can’t fly at a temperature below 55°F because they can’t regulate their blood temperature. When it’s cold, you will barely see them around.
  • Butterflies can’t chew solid because their mouthparts are only modified for a liquid diet, usually nectar.
  • Many assume butterflies have two wings, but they have four. When they fly, the four wings move up and down together hence the assumption.
  • Butterflies get their minerals by drinking mud puddles because living on nectar alone is not sufficient.

Butterfly Colors Meanings

Butterfly symbolism is also related to their colors because every color has a significant meaning. Below, we explain the meaning of butterfly colors.

Red Butterfly Meaning

Red glider butterfly
Red glider butterfly – Photo courtesy of Charles J. Sharp CC BY-SA 4.0

In color psychology, the color red symbolizes passion, sensuality, and domination. In some cultures, red butterflies indicate evil omen and anger, and seeing one means that you should be cautious.

A Korean superstition believes that red butterflies are evil; a person may go blind or develop other vision problems if they touch one.

There is also an England myth that associates red butterflies with the souls of witches and evil creatures. In contrast, some Native Americans believe a red butterfly symbolizes romance, passion, and a powerful spirit.

Red butterflies are also very striking. Some believe that seeing a red butterfly at the beginning of the year signifies that a person will be healthy and happy throughout the year.

Brown Butterfly Meaning

Brown butterfly
Brown butterfly

Brown is the color of the earth, which may explain why many believe the brown butterfly symbolizes a fresh start. Brown is a standard butterfly color, and it can be a predominant or base color.

However, brown butterflies may be hard to spot because the color can easily camouflage or blend with other colors. Some see them as bearers of important messages from the spirit world or heaven—a divine intervention.

Yellow Butterfly Meaning

Clouded Sulphur
This yellow butterfly is called Clouded Sulphur

The yellow butterfly has different meanings depending on the culture.

In Western society, a yellow butterfly is believed to bring happiness, joy, and creativity. Its bright sunny appearance is an announcement that something fun and fantastic is close to us.

Despite their bright appearance, yellow butterflies are associated with negative signs like the end, hazards, and bad luck in some cultures.

Orange Butterfly Meaning

Julia butterfly
This orange butterfly is called Julia

As a fleeting beauty, orange butterflies have a shorter lifespan compared to other butterfly colors. This has to do with their bright appearance because they can’t easily camouflage or hide from predators.

Orange butterflies signify focus and passion toward your objectives in life. Seeing one, such as the Monarch butterfly, may be a message reminding you of your goal, especially at a point where you are distracted.

These brightly colored insects are also associated with healing, passion, and aggressiveness.

Blue Butterfly Meaning

Blue morpho butterfly
Blue morpho butterfly

Blue butterflies are stunning yet rare. Seeing one, such as the majestic morpho butterfly, is believed to be a sign of a good omen, a message of joy and fortune.

Some people also believe it to be a symbol of honor and nobility. However, some interpret blue butterflies as deceitful and malicious spirits.

Blue butterflies also symbolize the passing of time, change, and transformation. Some view the blue butterfly as a wish granter, so seeing one is a sign that a wish you make or have made will come true.

Green Butterfly Meaning

Green butterfly
A lovely green butterfly

Green butterflies are a sign of success, wealth, and prosperity.

This symbolism is due to the association of green with money in America. Also, the Chinese believe green is a sign of good fortune. So if a green butterfly is flying in your view, it means you are about to earn some money.

Green is also associated with growth and freshness, and green butterflies can also represent a thriving career, relationships, and so on.

Gray Butterfly Meaning

Gray butterfly
This gray butterfly is such a beauty!

Most times, gray butterflies combine other colors like yellow and blue. The gray butterfly can represent loneliness, sadness, feelings of unworthiness, and isolation.

Seeing one may be a sign that a bad event is on its way. However, don’t overthink when one visits you because gray butterflies, like other butterfly colors, are a symbol of hope and change.

Black Butterfly Meaning

Black butterfly
Black Butterfly

A black butterfly or a butterfly with prominent black markings is often considered a black omen. Some believe it’s a sign that the end or bad news is coming. This may stem from the traits associated with the color black itself.

Meanwhile, many see the black butterfly as a sign of hope, longevity, and a positive change, the dark before the light.

Encountering a black butterfly could be a sign to be more confident and express your ability to reach the stage you want.

White Butterfly Meaning

White butterfly
White butterfly

Although white butterflies are not as brilliantly colorful as other butterflies, they stand out just the same. Their pure brightness and delicateness make them seem angelic.

A white butterfly brings deep spiritual meanings and represents purity, good luck, and peace.

Sighting a white butterfly can bring spiritual awakening, peace and trust, and other pleasant emotions.

White butterflies are also believed to be a sign of good luck. They often appear where the energy is high, and Native Americans believe seeing white butterflies is a sign that summer is coming.

Wrapping up on Butterfly Colors Meanings

Different religions and cultures associate the butterfly with the soul, omens, and a little symbolic animal.

From Australia to North America, there are plenty of meanings regarding the color of butterflies, and let’s not forget many cultures were not even mentioned in this article.

Still, we hope you could get an idea of this colorful world surrounding the delicate butterflies.

Did you enjoy this article about butterfly colors? Then share it with a dear friend who might enjoy it too.


Tuesday 22nd of August 2023

I had a blue and black butterfly land on my head some months back and stayed there for a while. Then, I had a black and blue butterfly just circle around me and flew away on this past Sunday...What does that mean for me?

Licet Grant

Sunday 13th of August 2023

I had a black & red butterfly in my neck whats the meaning?


Sunday 23rd of July 2023

Hello l was on my front deck walking, when a beautiful colored butterfly flew around me, what does this mean for me?

Dois Williams

Sunday 9th of July 2023

I saw this butterfly yesterday and took a picture of it as I have never seen one like it before. It was bigger than most, shaped differently and of a darker color than a Monarch. Could it be some species of a Monarch?


Monday 7th of November 2022

Just lost my Mom and on the day i went to scatter her ashes i saw 3 white butterflies...


Tuesday 8th of November 2022

Hi, Shané. I'm really sorry for your loss. And thanks for sharing your story. Impossible not to believe in the meaning of the butterflies, isn't it? Stay strong!