The Most Beautiful Butterflies Found in the Philippines
“Love is like a butterfly. The more you chase it, the more it will elude you; but if you turn your attention towards other things, it will sit on your shoulder when you least expect it.”
The anonymous writer of this quote made it sound so magical when he/she put ‘love’ and ‘butterfly’ in one sentence. There is that beautiful elation that comes with it when a butterfly is associated with such a strong emotion. Even termite control experts agree that butterflies are among the most beautiful creatures to inhabit Earth and here in the Philippines, we are lucky to have good species of these around us.
Most of us aren’t familiar with how they look like or where exactly they live, but we’re interested nonetheless. This article will serve as your guide to the most common yet beautiful species of butterflies that live in our country. Join us as we explore the wonderful world of butterflies—well, at least here in the Philippines!
LARGE GRASS YELLOW / COMMON GRASS YELLOW BUTTERFLY
This species (Eurema hecabe) can also be found in other parts of Asia, Africa, South Pacific Islands, and Australia. They are small to medium in size and are bright lemon yellow in color. They have black markings or spots on the edges of their wings. Grass Yellow butterflies adapt different forms depending on the season or time of the year.
The Gaika Blue (Zizula hylax) is more commonly known as the Tiny Grass Blue. This butterfly has a faint blue to light violet tint to its wings, hence its name. The wing span of an adult Gaika Blue is about 1.5 centimeters. Aside from the Philippines, they can also be found in tropical and sub-tropical Africa, other parts of Asia, and Oceania.
RED LACEWING BUTTERFLY
The Red Lacewing butterfly (Cethosia biblis) belongs to the heliconiine subfamily. Its wing span is 8-9 centimeters. These wings are intensely colored—they’re orange-red and dotted with black. The purpose of this is to disguise the shape of the butterfly and protect it from its enemies. Red Lacewing caterpillars are also intricately colored, but are poisonous.
The Apefly butterfly (Spalgis epius) is known for its face that resembles that of an ape during its morphing/caterpillar stage. It is a small butterfly with a wing span of only 10-14 millimeters. It flies fast and they are often difficult to catch because of their speed.
GOLDEN-TAILED HAIRSTREAK BUTTERFLY
The Golden-Tailed Hairstreak butterfly (Cheritra orpheus orpheus) has bright orange-colored wings and a distinctive black and white tail at the end of its body. This tail is long and becomes more noticeable when the insect flies. It is a rare member of the hairstreak species but can be found in various parts of the Philippines such as in Baguio City in Benguet.
These are just some of the species of butterflies that can be found locally. However, because of their beauty and rarity, some of them are in danger of becoming extinct due to human activity and destruction of their natural habitat. We should do our best to prolong the lives of these exceptional insects so other generations would have the chance to see how beautiful they are. But nevertheless, we hope this article made the butterflies flutter in your stomach!