10 Types of Green Butterflies (With Pictures)

Green is a more rare color seen on butterflies. However, there are numerous species of these color variant of butterflies, some of which you may be unaware of. Some of these can be found in multiple locations, while others can only be found in one. If you want to learn more about the types of green butterflies in your area, or if you just want to see the kinds native to other parts of the world, this article is for you.

10 Types of green butterflies

Here are ten amazing green-colored butterflies, along with some information about them. Enjoy!

1. Dido Longwing

Green butterfly on a leaf
Green butterfly on a leaf | image by Rene Mensen via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Philaethria dido

Dido butterflies are a species of insect found in South and Central America. They can be seen flying in tropical forests at altitudes ranging from 0 to 1200 meters. Dido longwings are frequently observed feeding on flower nectars near their canopy, but males will also descend to consume minerals from rivers and streams.

What makes these butterflies easy to recognize is their black color with patches of translucent green markings. Additionally, they have up to 4-inch wingspans.

2. Malachite

Malachite on a green leaf
Malachite on a green leaf | image by Ettore Balocchi via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Siproeta stelenes

The malachite butterfly is one of the most stunning green butterflies found in Central and Northern South America. It has a 3-4 inch wingspan and lives in subtropical forests with mango, citrus, and avocado trees. Adult butterflies eat rotting fruits, bird droppings, and even dead animals found in the forest.

The wings of malachite butterflies are dark brown to black with whitish green patches. They also come in two forms, distinguished by the color of their undersides. The dry season form is larger than the wet season form and has black marks instead of silver on its underside.

Malachite and dido butterflies are frequently mistaken for one another, but their wing shapes differ significantly.

3. Green-Banded Swallowtail

Green-banded swallowtail on the wall
Green-banded swallowtail on the wall | image by dotun55 via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Papilio nireus

Green-banded swallowtail is a colorful butterfly found in Africa. It has a wingspan of approximately 3 to 3.5 inches. This insect can be seen all year, but it’s most common from November to February.

This insect’s wings have green bands on each wing and green or blue spots on the hindwing. The color of these green bands can range from metallic lime green to turquoise. The majority of this butterfly species with green bands are females, while males typically have blue bands.

4. Sheridan’s Hairstreak

Sheridan's hairstreak on a flower
Sheridan’s hairstreak on a flower | image by Walter Siegmund via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0

Scientific Name: Callophrys sheridanii

The sheridan’s hairstreak is a small butterfly with a one-inch wingspan. It has brown wings with black marginal lines and white fringes at each wing.

However, the color of its underside is a distinctive light to dark grayish green. You can find this butterfly all over North America, but it’s commonly found in Southern British Columbia and California.

Their caterpillars feed on wild buckwheat species as their host plants. They’re usually found in areas where these plants grow nearby, such as woodlands or chaparral.

5. Long-winged Greenstreak

Mountain greenstreak on a flower
Mountain greenstreak on a flower | image by belemqueuedelapin via iNaturalist | CC BY 4.0

Scientific Name: Cyanophrys longula

The long-winged greenstreak butterfly is a Cyanophrys species found from Mexico to Columbia. They’ve also been spotted in some parts of Arizona. They’re small butterflies with a wingspan of about 1 inch, though females have a slightly larger wing span than males.

They prefer cloud forest habitats, where adult butterflies feed on flower nectar. The larvae feed on plants in the Asteraceae family. These include asters, sunflowers, and other small flowers found in their natural habitats.

6. Tailed Jay

Tailed jay perched on a leaf 
Tailed jay perched on a leaf  | image by Bernard Spragg. NZ via Flickr

Scientific Name: Graphium agamemnon

Tailed Jay butterflies are found in India, Southeast Asia, and Australia. It’s a member of the swallowtail family, which contains over a thousand different species of butterflies and moths.

The Tailed Jay is a large butterfly with a wingspan of about 4 inches that you can find in forest clearings, riverbanks, and beach hinterlands. The caterpillar is green with black spots, and the adult male has black wings with green markings all over it. The adult female resembles the male but has greenish-white streaks on the dorsal side.

Male and female butterflies circle around before mating at the tops of the flowering trees during courtship. Males have also been observed drinking minerals from swamps. This species is found in low-elevation gardens as well as urban areas.

7. Hawaiian Blue

Hawaiian blue on rock
Hawaiian blue on rock | image by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Udara blackburni

The Hawaiian blue, also known as Blackburn’s blue or Koa, is a species found on the Hawaiian islands of Kaua’i, Oahu, Maui, Molaka’i, Lana’i, and Hawai’i. It is indigenous to Hawaii and has a green underside and an upper side that’s dark bluish-brown.

The wings are iridescent, which means they reflect light and appear to be made of glittering jewels. The caterpillar feeds on acacia species, including koa, which is why this species is also known as the Koa butterfly.

8. Obrina Olivewing

Male obrina olivewing on the wall
Male obrina olivewing on the wall | image by thevargases via iNaturalist | CC BY-SA 4.0

Scientific Name: Nessaea obrinus

The obrina olivewing butterfly is a lovely insect that can be found from Columbia to Argentina. The male Obrina Olivewing butterfly differs slightly from the female in appearance. Males have black wings with blue bands at the forewing and orange bands on the hindwing, whereas females have dark brown wings with light blue bands and reddish-orange spots on the forewing.

However, both sexes’ undersides appear the same. The underside is dark green with light brown markings and white bands on the forewing. These butterflies are usually seen flying from July to November.

9. Emerald-patched Cattleheart

Emerald-patched cattleheart isolated on white
Emerald-patched cattleheart isolated on white | image by Didier Descouens via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Scientific Name: Parides sesostris

The sesostris cattleheart butterfly is a rare species found in Mexico. It has a very short lifespan, which is a maximum of 8 days.

They’re primarily found in rainforests, where they feed on impatiens and other Rubiaceae family flowers. The forewing of this insect is black with emerald green patches, and the hindwing is brown on the underside with light red spots.

10. Arizona Hairstreak

Arizona hairstreak on flower
Arizona hairstreak on flower | image by ALAN SCHMIERER via Flickr

Scientific Name: Erora quaderna

The Arizona hairstreak is a one-of-a-kind butterfly with dark brown wings with blue patches and brown edges. Additionally, the underside of the animal is pale green with copper markings.

As the name implies, this butterfly is most commonly seen from Arizona to Mexico. They prefer mountain trails, forest openings, and roadside areas. Their wingspan is up to an inch, and they feed on flower nectars, while the caterpillars feed on oak plants.