Is That a Yellow Monarch Butterfly in Your Garden?
Think you saw a yellow monarch butterfly? Learn how to stop making this butterfly blunder and see photos of yellow and orange butterflies.
Have You Ever Seen a Yellow Monarch Butterfly?
Several butterflies cleverly mimic monarchs with bright orange wings and similar markings, including the viceroy butterfly and the queen butterfly. But there are other beautiful butterflies that can easily confuse gardeners and nature lovers as well, such as the tiger swallowtail. We must clarify, no, that’s not a yellow monarch butterfly. A Birds & Blooms reader made this common mistake when she captured this photo (above).
“I love growing Mexican sunflowers on our property not only because they’re beautiful, but they attract hundreds of monarch butterflies! This photo is a reminder of why I love gardening and the return of these majestic creatures every year,” she says.
Don’t feel badly about making this butterfly blunder! Swallowtails, like monarchs, are gorgeous butterflies that may be spotted in backyards across North America. Here are some other orange and yellow butterflies that might make you look twice.
Check out these 20 must-see pictures of monarchs.
Orange and Yellow Butterflies You Might See
Courtesy Charlene Denise Maples
Orange Sulphur Butterfly
“This beautiful orange sulphur was casually feeding on yellow lantana. I love the way the two yellows blend for a refreshingly lemony summer photo. If you look closely, you can see the butterfly’s green, speckled eye,” says Charlene Denise Maples.
Monarch eggs or aphids? How to tell the difference.
Courtesy Caron Gray
Giant Swallowtail Butterfly
“It was a beautiful summer morning in Wisconsin and I was walking in the field behind our yard when I saw this giant swallowtail. It fluttered around for quite some time, and I was able to get many photos of it. This is one of my favorites, even though it is on a cutleaf teasel, which is an invasive plant. I can’t get enough of these gorgeous butterflies!” says Caron Gray.
Discover 6 fascinating swallowtail butterfly facts.
Courtesy Brenda Doherty
“I captured this shot of a mourning cloak getting nectar from a coneflower in my garden. I have a fairly large yard with lots of flowers and trees. The mourning cloaks seem to like an area with dead leaves, tree stumps and branch piles,” says Brenda Doherty.
Follow the stages of the monarch butterfly life cycle.
Courtesy ack Peterson
“I spotted this cloudless sulfur butterfly among ironweed as the sun was casting the flower’s shadow onto the wings like a projector! It seemed to pose just enough for me to get a good angle,” says Jack Peterson.
Courtesy Nancy Melton
“This black swallowtail butterfly was getting nectar from some clover at the edge of a pond. I love the colors in this photo along with the crisp image. It was a beautiful day to watch nature unfold,” says Nancy Melton.
Monarch butterfly migration is simply magical. Track their epic journey on this migration map.
Courtesy Peggy Yaeger
Great Spangled Fritillary
“Driving down some of the back roads in the Daniel Boone National Forest in eastern Kentucky, I’ll often come across insects and butterflies feeding on wildflowers. This great spangled fritillary butterfly was drinking nectar from Joe Pye weed while being illuminated by the sun,” says Peggy Yaeger.
Courtesy Ashley Veatch
“This painted lady stopped and sunned itself on my hydrangeas for a long time. I was able to get several wonderful shots,” says Ashley Veatch.
Check out the ultimate guide to growing milkweed plants for monarchs.
Courtesy Michele Ramsey
“Since my favorite color is orange, I love this beautiful gulf fritillary butterfly. It is sitting on the edge of a leaf of the passion fruit vine. This plant is a host plant for the larvae of this species. I also like the black and white accents on the wings,” says Michele Ramsey.
Are monarch butterflies endangered?
Courtesy Gina Altizer
“One of my favorite things to do is to go for a nature walk through the meadow behind our house. I was glad I had my camera ready when I spied this little pearl crescent butterfly in the tall grass. I love the contrast of the orange and black butterfly with the green and rose colors of the grasses,” says Gina Altizer.
Psst—have you ever seen a rare yellow cardinal bird?
Courtesy Michelle Nyss
“A red admiral caught my interest with its tapestry of color. I watched it go from one flower to another and patiently waited for it to come closer. It finally landed a few feet away from me. The light from behind made the edges of its wings glow and the blues look luminous,” says Michelle Nyss.
Want to raise monarch butterflies? Here’s what you need to know.
Courtesy Kathy Stadtfeld
“I was out tagging monarchs when this question mark butterfly landed on a butterfly bush in front of me,” says Kathy Stadtfeld.
Courtesy Cherish Yuke
“These soldier butterflies were competing to pollinate the same flower at Perdenales State Park in Johnson City, Texas,” says Cherish Yuke.
Now that you know there’s no such thing as a yellow monarch butterfly, find out do monarch butterfly sightings have meaning?