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Join date : 1970-01-01

PostSubject: The Hissing Butterfly   Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:54 am



Just like the beautiful Peacock birds (Peafowl) of India, our resident Peacock butterflies have their own unique display. But the butterflies put on their display for very different reasons. While the display of the Peafowl is designed to attract attention, the Peacock butterfly display is designed to ward off unwanted attention.


The Peacock butterfly (Inachis io) is one of the few butterflies in the UK which hibernates as an adult. When the cold weather sets in the peacock seeks out hollow trees, attics and outbuildings to shelter in through the winter months.

The undersides of the Peacock's wings are dark coloured and have an irregular shaped outline, so at rest they're quite well camouflaged. Despite this many are still found and eaten while they sleep.

To defend themselves against attacks they repeatedly open and close their wings to flash their eye spot markings. At the same time they produce a hissing noise by rubbing veins on the forewings against veins on the hindwings.

Scientific name: Inachis io

Size: Wingspan approximately 60mm

Distribution: Found throughout the UK. Less common in Scotland

Months seen: All year round, but mostly seen March to October

Life span: Up to eight months

Habitat: Meadows, roadside verges, woodland edges and gardens

Food: Nectar. The caterpillars eat nettles

Special features: Peacock butterflies can be easily recognised by the four large, colourful eye spot markings on the wings, which look similar to those on a peacock (peafowl) tail feathers.

In contrast the underside of the wings are almost black, allowing the Peacock butterfly to remain well camouflaged in garden sheds and outbuildings during its winter hibernation.

When the bluebells start flowering, peacock butterflies are just starting to wake after their winter hibernation, and can take advantage of their plentiful supply of nectar.
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Lou

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PostSubject: Re: The Hissing Butterfly   Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:51 pm

Really interesting

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PostSubject: Re: The Hissing Butterfly   Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:28 pm

I love anything like this. I once had an Atlas moth on my arm for half an hour, it is a magical moment I will never forget. She was quite happy just sitting there.

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JO xx
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tayer
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PostSubject: Re: The Hissing Butterfly   Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:33 pm

pretty...atlas moths are huge arnt they??
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PostSubject: Re: The Hissing Butterfly   Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:48 pm

Yes she was Tayer love and surprisingly heavy. I cannot remember her exact measurements but she was huge.

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JO xx
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