Identify It > Butterfly Section > Peacock Butterflies >
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.