SK3281 : Sheffield : Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet

taken 10 years ago, near to Beauchief, Sheffield, Great Britain

Sheffield : Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet
Sheffield : Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet
The European Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io), more commonly known simply as the Peacock Butterfly, is a colourful butterfly, found in Europe and temperate Asia as far east as Japan. It is the only member of the genus Inachis: the name is derived from Greek mythology, meaning Io, the daughter of Inachus. They are not close relatives of the 'American peacocks', which are in the genus Anartia. The Peacock butterfly is resident in much of its range, often wintering in buildings or trees. It therefore often appears quite early in spring. It has figured in research where the role of the eye-spots as an anti-predator mechanism has been investigated.

The butterfly is found throughout the British Isles, and is expanding its range. It is not known to be threatened. The Peacock can be found in woods, fields, meadows, pastures, parks, and gardens, and from lowlands up to 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) elevation. It is a relatively common butterfly seen in many parks and gardens. The Peacock male exhibits territorial behaviour, in many cases territories being selected en route of the females to oviposition sites.

The butterfly hibernates over winter before laying its eggs in early spring, in batches of up to 400 at a time. The eggs are ribbed and olive-green in colour and laid on the upper parts and undersides of the leaves of nettle plants and hops. The caterpillars, which are shiny black with six rows of barbed spikes and a series of white dots on each segment, and have a shiny black head, hatch after about a week. The Chrysalis may be either grey, brown or green in colour and may have a blackish tinge. The caterpillars grow up to 42 mm in length.

The recorded foodplants of the European Peacock are the Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica), Hop (Humulus lupulus) and Small Nettle (Urtica urens).

The adult butterflies drink nectar from a wide variety of flowering plants, including buddleia, willows, dandelions, wild marjoram, danewort, hemp agrimony, and clover; they also utilize tree sap and rotten fruit.

The butterfly has cryptic undersides with flashy eye-spots above and can also make an audible sound by rubbing its wings together, presumably as an anti-predator measure. It has a wingspan of 50 to 55 mm. The base-colour of the wings is a rusty red, and at each wingtip it bears a distinctive, black, blue and yellow eye-spot. The underside is a cryptically coloured dark-brown or black.

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SK3281, 259 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Sunday, 10 April, 2011   (more nearby)
Thursday, 14 April, 2011
Butterfly   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SK 3257 8197 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:20.0186N 1:30.7426W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SK 3255 8194
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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