Brown butterflies shouldn’t go overlooked — they are just as beautiful as their more colorful counterparts. If you see a brown butterfly, it may be one of many common species, so be sure to use our identifying tool to figure out which one it is.
One of the most striking brown butterflies is the Common Buckeye, which has six eye-popping eyespots.
While the brighter colors of butterflies tend to get more attention, it’s worth looking at the symbolism of brown butterflies as well, as they have a subtle beauty all their own.
What Can We Learn from Brown Butterflies?
In nature, brown isn’t a color that stands out, but instead blends in with its surroundings. Some butterfly species are likely brown as a survival strategy, as camouflaging with tree trunks helps the insect stay hidden from danger. This reminds us that there are times in our own lives when “laying low” is the best option. If you see a brown butterfly, it might be a good day to stay home, rest, and take care of yourself.
Because the brown butterfly is not flashy or outgoing, it serves as a reminder to stay humble and not let ego drive our actions. We don’t always need to promote ourselves or win the approval of others. In fact, it can be a relief to fly beneath the radar and act without caring what someone else thinks.
The Meaning of the Color Brown
Brown is above all an earthy color, and can symbolize a sense of being grounded. Brown reminds us to prioritize stability and authenticity if they are lacking in our lives. With the color in mind, perhaps you can also find a way to be more “down to earth” — to get in touch with your body and your environment. It might be time to step away from the internet, take a walk, or do some gardening!
As the color of soil, brown can also suggest that it’s time to put down roots, metaphorically, and enter a phase of new growth. If you’ve been waiting to start on a project, it may be time to take the first step. Or, if you aren’t challenging yourself in your job, hobbies, or relationships, this could be a sign to push forward, knowing that you will remain safely rooted in what you already have.
Brown is also a warm and welcoming color. It has associations with delicious foods — think of dishes roasted in the oven, browned butter, or the golden crust on bread. If you see a brown butterfly, you may be missing home, family, friends, or the joy of holidays. You may want to reach out to someone you haven’t seen in a while, and bring some warmth to their day.
Brown Butterflies in Cultural Myths
Some say that in the Philippines, a brown butterfly is connected with money and good fortune. If one lands on you, it’s a good day to buy a lottery ticket.
On the other hand, in Eastern Europe there are superstitions that say brown butterflies are bearers of bad news. If one flutters by your house, you may soon get an unfortunate message! However, other cultures consider butterflies bringers of good news, so take the folklore with a grain of salt.
In Mexico, there is an Aztec myth that says a dark brown butterfly is a sign of ill health, forecasting death if it appears at a sick person’s house. In general, however, butterflies have a high cultural value.
Life Lessons of the Brown Butterfly
While brown butterflies may not be as radiant as more brightly colored ones, they still have a lot to teach us. They stand apart from orange, blue, and purple butterflies with their modest coloration, reminding us that staying hidden can have its benefits. They also symbolize the need to stay grounded as we grow, and to stay true to ourselves rather than caring about others’ opinions. If you see a brown butterfly, it’s easy to appreciate the many life lessons they bring.