Inachis io

Peacock

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2016

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Photo: io

Switzerland, March/ April 2010

Photo: io

Switzerland, March/ April 2010

Field notes and information

One of the most distinctive European butterflies. It is a frequent visitor to garden flowers. The large eyespots are very distinctive and bright, in complete to the camouflaged underside. Resembling a leaf with wings closed, a flash of the eyespots is some protection against would-be predators during the long winter hibernation.

Identification & Similar species: Unique in appearance.

Distribution & Flight: Europe, except most of southern Spain and northern Scandinavia. Flies from March to June after hibernation and July/ September when feeds on flowers for a few weeks before entering hibernation.

Habitat & Behaviour: Diverse habitats, but usually disturbed, damp or sheltered ground in bushy, wooded or forested places. Often found in gardens where it frequently takes nectar from garden flowers. Hibernates in dark places and when it can be found hanging upside down in outhouses, garages and other cool dark places in buildings. These hibernating sites may be shared with the Small Tortoiseshell, Aglais urticae.

Photo: io

Valais, Switzerland, April 2010

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Switzerland, March/ April 2010

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Valais, Switzerland, April 2010