Peacock butterfly is perhaps the most lovely types of butterflies. Peacock butterfly has a place with the family Nymphalida; its scientific name is Inachis io. They can be found all through the England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales (in the northern pieces of the Europe) and in calm Asia. Peacock butterflies can be frequently found in the nurseries, forest regions and on the edges of the woodlands. Populace of the peacock butterflies in the nature is steady and they are not recorded as imperiled species.
The tops of their wings are red, with rusty brown splotches and gray-black edges.
Peacock butterfly is one of the larger species of butterflies. Males are smaller than females. Their wingspan ranges from 2.4 inches in males to 2.7 inches in females.
They also have eyespots on the backs of their wings similar to eyespots on peacocks.
Peacock butterflies can be easily recognized by beautiful purple eyespots on the hind wings. When looked from up-side down, this pattern on the wings resembles to face of an owl.
The underside of the wing is a dark brown-black color similar to dead leaves.
Specific coloration of their wings provides protection against predators by confusing or even scaring them away.
Male peacock butterflies only have one elongated segment.
In the case it is threatened or bothered, peacock butterfly will flash its wings and produce hissing sound by rubbing its wings in front of the predator.
Females have five segments with the head and body covered in hair.
Edges of the wings of the peacock butterfly are dark and look like dead leaves. Underside of the wings is dull brown in color, which together with edges ensures excellent camouflage when butterfly rests on the bark of the trees.
The front legs of these butterflies are shortened and used for cleaning instead of walking.
Males and females have same patterns on their wings (look exactly the same); only difference is in their size.
The head has two large eyes, two antenna for detecting air currents, a proboscis for feeding, and two forward-facing protrusions that serve to protect the proboscis.
Peacock butterflies feed on the nectar of different types of the plants. Caterpillars (larvae) eat nettles.
Larvae are shiny black caterpillars with spines along their backs.
Peacock butterfly is strong flyer and it can travel long distances. It has nomadic instinct and instead of having permanent home, it travels all the time.
The cocoon is grayish green or brown with two horns at the head.
Just like all other butterflies, peacock butterfly can detect red, green and yellow color.
Their habitat consists of temperate regions across Europe and Asia.
Peacock butterflies live in temperate areas and they need to hibernate to survive low temperatures and lack of food during the winter period. Crevices, hollow trees and attics are usually the places occupied by peacock butterflies during the hibernation.
They primarily live in woods, fields, pastures, meadows, and gardens, but they can be found in lowlands and mountains reaching heights of approximately 8,200 feet.
Peacock butterflies mate after they emerge from hibernation, usually in February.
Their range includes Britain and Ireland, Russia and eastern Siberia, as well as Korea and Japan. They can also be found in Turkey and northern Iran.
Female lays up to 500 eggs after mating, usually in the sunny areas covered with nettles, which are the primary food for the caterpillars.
From mid-July until winter, adult peacock butterfly feed on the nectar from summer-flowering plants such as thistles and ragwort, as well as sap and honeydew.
Peacock butterfly undergoes complete metamorphosis, which means that it changes body shape and size several times until it gains the appearance of an adult butterfly. After female lays eggs, they turn into caterpillars. This is active stage characterized by rapid growth due to constant eating. Larvae molts several times as it grow.
They may also feed on rotten fruit to build up body fat in preparation for hibernation.
Caterpillar transforms into pupa, which is a resting stage, when insect is encased in the cocoon. Finally, pupa gives rise to adult butterfly. Whole process of transformation lasts couple of months. It starts in March, April or May and finishes in July. Adult butterfly does not change its size for the rest of its life.
Peacock butterflies emerge in late summer from their cocoons and hibernate in winter.
Males are very territorial and they will chase away all female butterflies from their territory during the summer (when the mating season is over).
During the winter, Peacock butterfly hisses to deter predators who can’t see the eyespots due to low lighting conditions.
Peacock butterfly has a long lifespan. It can live around 11 months.
Peacock butterflies are designated as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Their population was determined to be stable.