European Peacock Butterfly

Aglais io

European Peacock Butterfly , Peacock Butterfly

profile iconAglais (Inachis) io - European Peacock - Flickr - S. Rae (3)
by S. Rae (CC BY 2.0)
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An Aglais io, the European peacock butterfly on a leaf
profile iconAglais (Inachis) io - European Peacock - Flickr - S. Rae (3)
by S. Rae (CC BY 2.0)
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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.
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Traits

Butterflies can be beneficial pollinators in the garden.
Caterpillars may be found on herbaceous plants.

Appearance

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.

Symptoms

Caterpillars can damage nettle and hop plants if in high abundance.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Lepidoptera

Family

Nymphalidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Europe and some parts of Asia.

Biological treatment

We don't advise removing these caterpillars from the garden because as butterflies, they can be beneficial to plants.

Attracts

The fully developed adult butterfly enjoys the nectar of several flowers. Caterpillars will feed on the foliage of hop and stinging nettles.

Repels

These insects are eaten by birds and rodents.
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Knowledge and advice

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