Upper back butterfly tattoos look great when you focus on quantity and detail. A collection of many well-placed butterflies mid-way in flight looks great as a full back piece. You can even use your shoulder blades as part of the tattoo design and have them flittering around them. For even more flair, use different types of butterflies to add interest to your piece. A collection of blue swallowtail and monarchs is breath-taking with their bright colors and interesting shapes.
Lower back butterflies look great when you use one large butterfly, or several large butterflies flittering to your hip or thigh. If you want just one large tattoo, a large butterfly stretched across your lower back is an excellent choice. The dip in your lower back is perfect for the natural dip of the butterfly's wings. For some uniqueness, add a splash of tribal lines to further enhance the curves of your butterfly.
Less commonly seen are butterfly tattoos that are on your arms and shoulders. Butterflies going around your biceps can be quite lovely. One of the best butterfly tattoos we've seen was a collection of small butterflies flitting about the back and shoulder of a woman in a sleeve 'tat. Once again, the smaller details highlight the natural feminine curves of your body and the butterflies themselves. It also looked great because it showed off her muscles!
Where can you find inspiration for what type of butterfly you want? I suggest looking at a naturalists' guide to butterflies! Remember, you don't want a moth-like butterfly! We're going to go over which species make great tattoos for their fun colors, and which species you should match together.
The two most common butterfly tattoos are the Blue Swallowtail and the Monarch butterflies. The swallowtails have very long wing tips, and are blue and black. The monarchs are orange and have a lot of black. It's a personal favorite of mine to match these two species because their colors contrast so well, and they even live in the same part of the world! So you're naturally correct when you pair them up too.
Another absolutely stunning butterfly is the Red-Spotted Purple butterfly. It has a lot of blue, purple and a little orange. You won't see many tattoos of this gorgeous less well-known butterfly, so you're certain to get lookers.
Another very unique butterfly is the Zebra Longwing Butterfly. This butterfly is very wide and long, with beautiful Zebra-like stripes running horizontally across it. It would make a wonderful lower-back tattoo, and is very curvaceous. Contrasting one of these beauties with a brightly colored Swallowtail would look absolutely delicious for a tattoo!
Another very uncommon butterfly is the Eleuchia Longwing butterfly. This is a solid black butterfly with a beautiful stripe of white along the outer edge of its wing. Close to its body, it has a wonderful splash of bright red that brings out great color and intrigue. This butterfly would also look great with a Red-Spotted purple or Blue Swallowtail.