Inachis io

Inachis io

The European Peacock butterfly (Inachis io), more commonly known simply as the Peacock butterfly, is a well-known colourful butterfly, found in temperate Europe and Asia. It is the only member of the genus Inachis which is sometimes included in Nymphalis. It should not be confused or classified with the "American peacocks" in the genus Anartia; these are not close relatives of the present species. The peacock butterfly is resident in much of its range, often wintering in buildings or trees. It therefore often appears quite early in spring.

Reproduction and food

The butterfly hibernates over winter before laying its eggs in early spring, in batches of up to 500 at a time. The caterpillars, which are shiny black with six rows of barbed spikes and a series of white dots on each segment, hatch after about a week and feed on nettles and hops.

The adult butterflies drink nectar from a wide variety of flowering plants, including buddleia, sallows, dandelions, wild marjoram, danewort, hemp agrimony, and clover; they also utilize tree sap and rotten fruit.

Habitat

The Peacock can be found in woods, fields, meadows, pastures, parks, and gardens, and from lowlands up to elevation. It is a relatively common butterfly seen in many European parks and gardens.

Gallery

References

  • (2005): The role of eyespots as anti-predator mechanisms, principally demonstrated in the Lepidoptera. Biol. Rev. 80(4): 573–588. (HTML abstract)

External links

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