A Peacock (Inachis io) or (Nymphalis io) butterfly feeding on a Common Knapweed

- Image ID: B48T7C
John Keates / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: B48T7C
The European Peacock butterfly (Inachis io), more commonly known simply as the Peacock butterfly, is a well-known colourful butterfly, found in temperate Europe and Asia. It is the only member of the genus Inachis which is sometimes included in Nymphalis. It should not be confused or classified with the "American peacocks" in the genus Anartia; these are not close relatives of the present species. The peacock butterfly is resident in much of its range, often wintering in buildings or trees. It therefore often appears quite early in spring. The butterfly hibernates over winter before laying its eggs in early spring, in batches of up to 500 at a time. The caterpillars, which are shiny black with six rows of barbed spikes and a series of white dots on each segment, hatch after about a week and feed on nettles and hops. The adult butterflies drink nectar from a wide variety of flowering plants, including buddleia, sallows, dandelions, wild marjoram, danewort, hemp agrimony, and clover; they also utilize tree sap and rotten fruit.