No, this is not a photo of an endangered butterfly

A photo has been shared tens of thousands of times in multiple posts on Facebook and Twitter which claim it shows an endangered butterfly. The claim is false; the photo shows an artwork by digital artist Sara Shakeel.

The photo was published here on Facebook on April 13, 2019.

It was shared by a Facebook page with more than 1.5 million followers.

Below is a screenshot of the misleading Facebook post:

Screenshot of the misleading Facebook post

The caption states: “Gorgeous. Endangered Starry Butterfly.”

The same photo was shared with a similar claim here on Facebook.

It was also shared here and here with a similar claim on Twitter.

The claim is false; the photo shows an artwork by digital artist Sara Shakeel.

A watermark next to the wing on the left side of the image states: “SaraShakeel”.

Below is a screenshot of the watermark:

Screenshot of the watermark

A keyword search on Google found this verified Instagram page of a digital artist named Sara Shakeel.

Below is a screenshot of Shakeel’s Instagram page:

Screenshot of Shakeel’s Instagram page

The same butterfly photo can be seen in this March 3, 2019 post on Shakeel’s Instagram page.

The caption states in part: “I am sorry for 3 artworks within 3 hours lol ! I had a lot of feelings in me tonight! The second I got done with one artwork , I wanted to create another!! Well ThankGod for art!” CollageArt SaraShakeel. Butterfly photographer Stephen Powell.”

The same image was posted on Shakeel’s Facebook page here on the same day with a similar caption.

Shakeel’s artwork has been made using a photo of a real butterfly taken by photographer Stephen Powell. He posted the original photo on his blog here on July 4, 2012.

Below is a screenshot of the photo:

Screenshot of the photo

The caption states that the image shows a Black-veined white butterfly.

Rachel Yan