Inachis io feeding on Tripleurospermum inodorum, photographed by Taina
Inachis io  - The Peacock (Nymphalidae)

Appearance: Spot this dazzling butterfly with a wingspan of 55 to 63mm and know what beauty is all about! The colourful “eyes” of the upper wings actually function as a large part of the self-defence of this butterfly. They may frighten off hungry predators such as birds. If you see the butterfly display the blue eyes of the hindwing, you’ll know the butterfly will be taking off in a second!

Geographical distribution/ habitat: Europe and the Northern part of Asia. Common in open fields, farmsteads, woodlands and gardens – where ever flowers grow.

Host plant: Common Nettle (urticaceae) only.

Food plants: Not very fussy on them, but particularly fond of Buddleia and thistles. Cirsium arvense “Creeping thistle” seems to be a big favourite of them – as well as of many other butterflies.

Flight time: Single brooded and flies in July-September in Europe. Hibernates as an adult, and is one of the first butterflies to appear around March to April.


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