European Peacock Butterfly

Aglais io

European Peacock Butterfly , Peacock Butterfly

Inachis io qtl4 by Quartl (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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A close up of an Aglais io, the European peacock butterfly caterpillar on a green leaf
Inachis io qtl4 by Quartl (CC BY-SA 3.0)
1 of 10
The Peacock Butterfly is a pretty insect recognised for its colourful red wings and large eyespots. Its range covers most of Europe, with some sightings occurring through Asia as far as Japan. Aglais io butterflies sometimes hibernate in sheds, garages, attics and trees. In some years they can be seen on the milder days in winter. Peacock Butterflies can thrive in lots of habitats. A few places they occur regularly include gardens, parks, woodland and farmlands. The butterflies drink nectar but are also attracted to tree sap and rotten fruit. The black and spikey caterpillars eat Common Stinging Nettle but will occasionally be found feeding on Hops.
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Traits

Butterflies are important pollinators!
Caterpillars may be found on herbaceous plants.

Appearance

Adults: Large butterflies with red or orange wings and colourful eyespots (wingspans: 6-7 cm). The underside of the wings have tones of brown and a bit of red. Larvae: Caterpillars are small and black, with white spots and black spines dotted along the top and sides of the body. Pupae: The cocoon is yellow-green and spiky. Eggs: Eggs are green and laid in large clusters, typically underneath the leaves of nettles.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Lepidoptera

Family

Nymphalidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Europe and some parts of Asia

Attracts

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