Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Day 240 - Perfectly Brilliant Peacock Butterflies

Peacock Butterfly ( Aglais io )
Hey everyone, today's Day 240 and yesterday I covered the lovely Small Tortoiseshell butterfly. I thought it would be good to carry on the Butterfly theme and do one that I see quite a lot in Spring and Summer. Before I do though I just want to say that the heatwave caused some interesting weather. Where I am there was a yellow weather warning for rain and boy did it rain. It was the first time I have ever been outside in a thunderstorm and the first time I have ever seen streak lightning.

All this weather is not very good for the beautiful Peacock Butterfly. I haven't seen many this year so far because of the weather but I think I will start to see some more.

So, here are the facts:
A little further out - basking amongst the ferns
  • The Female usually lays her eggs on nettles as the larval food-plants are the Common Nettle and the Small Nettle. Weirdly, they also eat Hop.
  • The Females lay around 200 eggs on the nettle which normally hatch after 10 days. They then become caterpillars and then butterflies.
  • The Peacock has a very strict routine and the adults spend the morning collecting nectar. Males then set up a territory at midday where they wait for a passing Female.
  • They are found all over the UK, most densely in England and Wales but in Scotland and Ireland their are spots where they are not found as much.
  • Males have a wingspan of 63mm - 68mm and Females have a wingspan of 67mm - 75mm. 
Basking on an old dead tree with a friend and future
blog post if I can get some better shots!
  • They are usually seen from March to September on sunny days, sometimes even in Winter if it's warm enough. 
  • The Adults like to feed on nectar, their favourite being Lavender and, as I have already said, the caterpillars mainly eat Nettles.
  • You will see them feeding on those in Woodlands, Parks and Hedgerows. Also they can be seen basking in the sun. 
  • They are another butterfly that hibernates so you may even see these on warm January days though their numbers peak in August.
  • So, what are the spot on their wings for. Well like most Butterfly's that hibernate they may get predated by birds. At first they will stay still with wings folded trying to look like a leaf. If that doesn't work they will open their wings and display their eye spots to look scary.
Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. The Peacock Butterflies are so striking with the lovely eye pattern on their wings - they're one of my favourite butterfly species. I've only seen a couple and never been quite close enough before to get a decent shot but these are stunning Zach - lovely post and the weather here has been very similar! Last night there was a huge thunderstorm with lots of lighting too. - Tasha