Butterflies of the Maldives

Great Eggfly Butterfly

If you have dived with us you have already met some butterflies of the Maldives and been wowed by the dazzling colours and patterns of the butterflyfishes on our reefs. 

You might have even noticed that some have a familiar fake eye spot, but have you taken the time to check out their terrestrial brethren, the butterflies of the Maldives?

Unlike the fishes, which occur all year round, most of our butterflies only grace us with their presence for a short time at certain times of the year. Their captivating flight and the extra touch of colour they add to their surroundings are always a welcome sight.  

Flutter by butterfly – butterfly facts

Let’s be honest, we are more underwater critter nerds, but we have taken the time, done our research and learned some fascinating butterfly facts.

(It’s not our first time writing about land critters, we also did a piece on dragonflies)

There are over 20,000 butterfly species.

Surprisingly, their wings are transparent! 

They are made of tiny transparent scales and you see the reflection of a variety of colours through them.

They only live for a few weeks.

Butterflies’ taste receptors are in their feet, meaning when they land on something they are effectively tasting it. 

All butterflies actually have four wings, not two.

Their diet is strictly liquid. Therefore, butterflies don’t have a mouth that they can use to chew.

Instead, they use their proboscis, basically a flexible straw to suck nectar and liquid sustenance from flowers and plants.

Butterflies of the Maldives

We have also learned the names of some of our frequent visitors here in the Maldives. 

We are now on the lookout to photograph some of these beauties! 

Gram Blue, Great Eggfly, Apefly, Common Evening Brown, Indian Palm Bob, Common Mormon Swallowtail, Plain Tiger, Danaid Eggfly, Formosan Swift, Tiny Grass Blue, Dark Grass Blue, Tawny Coster, Dingy Line Blue, Painted lady, Blue Pansy, Crimson Rose, Tamil Bush-Brown, Lesser Grass Blue, Blue Tiger, Broad Bordered Grass, Common Grass Yellow, Common Palmfly, Common Albatross, Lemon Migrant. Smooth-eyed Bushbrown, Paintbrush Swift and the Small Grass Yellow.

Although we have snapped this two lovely we are still much better at photographing fishies!

The Plain Tiger or African Monarch.

Plain Tiger or African Monarch

The African Monarch was first depicted 3,500 years ago in an Egyptian tomb making it the first ever butterfly in recorded history.

Join our Butterflies of the Maldives challenge

Finally, we are creating a “Butterflies Above and Below the Waves” gallery on Facebook and invite you to share your butterflies or butterflyfish images or video with us. 

Reach out by email or on our social media channels and mention “Butterfly Challenge” to be featured.  



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