Butterflies of Malaysia

malaysian butterflies - common grass yellow malaysian butterflies - cycad blue malaysian butterflies - blue pansy

The beautiful butterflies of Malaysia can be found all year round, and with about 1,200 species found in the country, they add to a small but very colorful dot to the panorama and landscape of the country.

With greeneries everywhere, the lovely butterflies of Malaysia can be found all year round.

They are there, in the mornings and evenings, and especially after showers, and when the sun starts to shine.

And they are there not only during flowering seasons but also during the various fruiting seasons.

Where Can You Find The Butterflies of Malaysia?

malaysian butterflies - lesser dart

Well, you can find Malaysian butterflies in the gardens and urban parks, forest fringes, open habitats, and also in thick forests and jungle, in the highlands and lowlands. Because where there are trees and plants, butterflies will usually visit.

The rare species of Malaysian butterflies can mostly be observed in undisturbed forests where their food plants are in abundance -- in the protected rain-forests of the national and state parks, and forest reserves in the country.

The butterflies of Malaysia can be found spread out intermittently in the lowlands, highlands, mangrove and coastal areas and also in the urban locations, depending on the kinds of food or food plants that they require.

Probably the most famous of all the Malaysian butterflies is the Rajah Brooke's Birdwing (Trogonoptera brookiana) of the Papilionidae family, a beautiful distinctive black and electric-green birdwing butterfly.

It is in fact the national butterfly of the nation, and it can be found abundantly in the rain-forests of Malaysia.

Butterfly Life-cycle

Butterflies are insects, and they belong to the distinctive order known as Lepidoptera. While there are more than 140,000 species of Lepidoptera in the world, only 20,000 species are butterflies, the rest being moths. Malaysia has around 1,200 species of butterflies.

A butterfly's life-cycle comprises of egg (ovum), caterpillar (larva), pupa (chrysalis) and adult (imago). This process is known as metamorphosis. Some take a longer period in the various stages, and some live shorter lives than others. Some butterflies live only for a couple of weeks while some others live longer up to a couple of months.

caterpillar of the lime butterfly malaysian butterflies - butterfly pupa (chrysalis) pupa of the great egg-fly

Butterfly Watching

Like mammal watching, butterfly watching is a very enriching and enjoyable pastime. But just as in fishing or bird-watching, you need lots of patience in butterfly watching.

And it will easier if you know the locations or habitat, the plants and flowers, and the food that the particular butterflies like to eat.

In a garden or urban park, for instance, place yourself close to some nectar-bearing flowers and then try to remain still and wait for the butterflies to come.

Butterflies are sensitive to abrupt movements and moving shadows, so move very slowly when going closer to watch or photograph them.

Then, when they have settled on the flower, just watch and be amazed by the lovely colors and intricate designs of their wings and body.

And since there are so many of the butterfly species, butterfly watchers usually keep a record of the particular specie, specifying its colors, behavior, mating period, habitat, food, and even its time of appearance (morning, afternoon or evening). It is an educational as well as an enjoyable and rewarding pastime.

Go to this Malaysian Butterflies Gallery for some pictures of the common butterflies.

There are a few butterfly farms in the country that houses butterflies of Malaysia for visitors to see and enjoy. The first tropical butterfly farm in Malaysia (and also of the tropical world) and the most popular with local and foreign visitors, is the Penang Butterfly Farm opened in 1986. It has around four thousand butterflies with 120 different species flying in the compound. It is also a breeding center for butterflies.

malaysian butterflies - chocolate pansy malaysian butterflies - striped albatross malaysian butterflies - plain lacewing

Help Preserve Our Environment

Some flutter and bumble haphazardly through the air, some glide smoothly through the woods and flowers, and some just love to sunbathe!!

malaysian butterflies - common sailor

Butterflies, those wonderful and beautiful creatures of God, are what they are. They come in all sizes - big, medium and teeny-weeny ones. And all are such marvellous and incredible creatures to watch. Seems like God created these lovely creatures for us to relax, enjoy and be amazed by them.

But sadly, day by day, a number of the butterfly species become extinct due to many reasons, like loss and destruction of their natural habitat due to human development, and climatic and weather changes.

Future generations may not see or may never know of the existence of some of the wonderful butterfly species that we now have if we forget about conservation.

Get the best books and field guides on the butterflies of Malaysia here.

Short Life Span


Butterflies add to the beauty and liveliness to the landscape we live in.

So, care for them.

As butterflies live a rather short life compared to humans, whenever the trees and plants where they lay their eggs and metamorphose are indiscriminately destroyed, they are greatly reduced in number.

And later these beautiful and gentle creatures may become extinct if we do not take proper steps to preserve the environment and the biosystems that support them.

Remember, they are part and parcel of Nature's food chain. While they pollinate flowers and plants when adults, when as caterpillars they are food for most birds and other insects.

So protect and care for our environment.

And enjoy the butterflies of Malaysia.


› Malaysian Butterflies

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Visit The Butterflies Gallery page here!

picture of bush brown butterfly

Bush Brown

photo of blue jay butterfly in malaysia

Blue Jay

picture of striped albatross butterfly in malaysia

Striped Albatross

picture of club silverline butterfly found in malaysia

Club Silverline

photo of malaysian black-veined tiger butterfly

Black-Veined Tiger

photo of bush brown with closed wings

Bush Brown (wings closed)

picture of painted jezebel butterfly in malaysia

Painted Jezebel

picture of butterfly caterpillar found in malaysia


picture of malaysian skipper butterfly


picture of blue pansy butterfly found in malaysia

Blue Pansy

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In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the living creatures that He has scattered through them: and He has Power to gather them together when He wills.

There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you.

And God has created every animal from water: of them there are some that creep on their bellies; some that walk on two legs; and some that walk on four.

God creates what He wills for verily God has power over all things.