Genus Colias Sulphur Butterfly Wing Posters
The Colias genus utilizes waste products to generate the yellow and orange coloration characteristic of this group. Males and females of the California Dogface butterfly look rather different with the male dorsal forewing design resemble the profile of a poodle and reflecting light in the ultra violet range. Coilas eurytheme has a melanized (more black scales) spring forms that allows this butterfly to warm up more efficiently in cooler Spring conditions.
In a few cases, specific butterfly patterns are more readily associated with functional advantages. The dorsal patternation of butterflies function as gender signals, allowing mates to recognize one another. Advertising your unpalatable nature through bold aposematic (warning) coloration, successfully establishes a learned avoidance response from predators. Camouflage and cryptic coloration have the obvious advantage of rendering the butterfly harder to find. Eyespots (ocelli) flashed as an otherwise cryptic butterfly makes a hasty retreat, can confuse an attacker or at least help to focus the attack towards non-critical regions of the body.
Melanization is a useful device employed by some butterflies and moths. Forms that have extra black (melanized) scales are better equipped to absorb heat from the sun and thus thermoregulate themselves to activity in cooler climates. Many other design and wing structure advantages have been studied but his sampling should give you an idea that many designs amount to considerably more than an aesthetically pleasing set of wings.