the european peacock (inachis io)

The European Peacock (Inachis io), also known simply as the peacock butterfly, is a colorful and well-known butterfly species native to Europe and temperate Asia. Here’s some information about this beautiful butterfly:

  1. Appearance: The European Peacock is easily recognizable by its large wingspan, which can range from 50 to 60 millimeters. The upper side of its wings features vibrant reddish-brown coloration with striking eyespots bordered by blue, black, and yellow. The underside of the wings is darker and more cryptic, providing camouflage when the butterfly is at rest.
  2. Habitat: European Peacock butterflies inhabit a wide range of habitats, including gardens, meadows, woodlands, parks, and coastal areas. They are particularly attracted to areas with abundant flowering plants, which serve as nectar sources for adults.
  3. Lifecycle: Like other butterflies, the European Peacock undergoes complete metamorphosis, consisting of four stages: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis), and adult butterfly. The female butterfly lays eggs on the underside of nettle leaves (Urtica spp.) or other host plants. The caterpillars feed on these leaves before pupating and emerging as adult butterflies.
  4. Flight Period: European Peacock butterflies are typically active from March to October, with peak activity occurring during the summer months. They are often seen basking in the sun or feeding on nectar from flowers during warm, sunny days.
  5. Range: The European Peacock butterfly is widely distributed across Europe, extending from the British Isles in the west to parts of Asia in the east. It is also found in North Africa. It is a common and widespread species in its range, often encountered in both rural and urban areas.
  6. Conservation: The European Peacock is not considered globally threatened and is generally a common and abundant species throughout its range. However, like many butterfly species, it may face localized threats from habitat loss, pesticide use, and other human activities impacting its larval host plants and nectar sources. Conservation efforts aimed at preserving natural habitats, promoting sustainable land management practices, and raising awareness about the importance of butterflies in ecosystems can help protect this species and its associated habitats.

Overall, the European Peacock is a beautiful and charismatic butterfly species that adds color and vibrancy to the landscapes it inhabits.

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