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The Butterfly is a passive Mob commonly found in Grassland biomes. They spawn from Flowers (including Evil Flowers) and will slowly fly around, often landing on other Flowers. At dusk, they always land on a Flower to despawn. Butterflies do not spawn during Winter.
When killed, Butterflies drop Butterfly Wings (98% chance) or Butter (2% chance). Butterfly Wings can be eaten to restore Health, or used in a Crock Pot to cook Butter Muffins. As inventory items, they can be used to plant Flowers, which can spawn additional Butterflies or improve the production of Honey in Bee Boxes.
See also: Butterfly Farm
Butterflies will avoid the player when approached, making them difficult to attack using melee weapons. The best time to attack them is when they stop to land on Flowers, where they will rest for a few seconds. Their typical pattern is to move a short distance, then pause for a bit apparently sniffing out a fresh flower. If it detects a flower nearby then it will usually move in to land on it, but only if it hasn't visited that flower before. But it won't stop if you're too close so it's best to keep your distance until it finds a flower. If the Butterfly starts to wander into an area without flowers then drive it back so it will land eventually. Once the Butterfly has stopped at a flower, move in and press the force-attack button (Ctrl+F) to hit it. You also might be able to catch the Butterfly by surprise when it stops to sniff for flowers. Equipping the Walking Cane makes this process much easier.
Since butterflies spawn from Flowers, and are easiest to attack when they stop at a Flower, look for them in an area with many Flowers. Walking close to a Flower seems to spawn Butterflies more frequently. Butterflies die in one hit from any weapon, even bare hands, so it's best to hunt without a weapon or with a Walking Cane. Butterflies take one blast from the Ice Staff to be frozen and cannot be put to sleep.
To catch a live Butterfly, you need to use a Bug Net. Bug Nets can only be used 10 times before breaking though so it's probably better kill Butterflies directly if you're looking for Butterfly Wings or Butter. When caught using a Bug Net, a live Butterfly will become an item in the player's inventory (stacks to 20). With the Bug Net equipped, pressing the Spacebar automatically chases and catches Butterflies (as well as Bees and Killer Bees) rather than picking nearby Flowers.
In Don't Starve: Reign of Giants DLC, Butterflies inside the player's inventory will starve in 2 days unless fed. They can be fed with anything edible to the player, including Mandrakes, Deerclops Eyeballs, Rot, etc.. However, they only have 1 health, so any food item which decreases health will instantly kill the Butterfly.
- In Don't Starve Together, Butterfly farms can be created by planting them near Magma. The magma will kill the butterflies but will not burn their drops.
- In Shipwrecked DLC Elephant Cactus can also be used to farm Butterflies by surrounding one with Flowers.
- Maxwell's examination quote of the Butterfly ("It's a flying flower.") can either be interpreted as an explanation as to why they are plantable or a reference to their use as a flower-spawner.
- When a stack of Butterflies is killed in the inventory, only 1 point of naughtiness will be added instead of the cumulative total.
- On Xbox One the command to turn a butterfly into a flower is "Murder" instead of "Plant".