European Peacock Butterfly
European Peacock Butterfly , Peacock Butterfly
The Peacock Butterfly is a pretty insect in the Lepidoptera order comprising moths and butterflies. It ranges across Europe through to eastern Asia and can be found as far as Japan. It tends to appear in early spring after hibernating in sheds, garages or attics during the winter months. See these butterflies on the wing in gardens, woodland, parks and coastal areas, during spring through till autumn.
Butterflies can be beneficial pollinators in the garden.
Caterpillars may be found on herbaceous plants.
Adults: The adult is large, with a wingspan measuring 6-7 cm. The front of the wings is red-orange, with two large eyespots. The underside of the wings is black. 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 in appearance. It hangs below leaves as the caterpillar inside develops into an adult butterfly. Eggs: Eggs are green and laid in large clusters, typically underneath the leaves of nettles.
Caterpillars can damage nettle and hop plants if in high abundance.
Europe and some parts of Asia.
We don't advise removing these caterpillars from the garden because as butterflies, they can be beneficial to plants.
The fully developed adult butterfly enjoys the nectar of several flowers. Caterpillars will feed on the foliage of hop and stinging nettles.
These insects are eaten by birds and rodents.