Peacock Butterfly

Inachis io

Peacock butterfly Peacock butterfly
Peacock butterfly tongue Peacock butterfly

The eye patterns on its wings, to deter predators, resemble the "eyes" in peacock tail feathers, giving the brightly-coloured butterfly its common name.

Peacock butterfly Peacock butterfly wing eye
Peacock Butterfly face Peacock butterfly side closed

With closed wings, the peacock butterfly is dark brown to black and well-camouflaged, especially when hibernating through winter as an adult.

Peacock butterfly closed Peacock butterfly side
     

   

 
Peacock butterfly caterpillars Peacock butterfly caterpillars Peacock butterfly caterpillars

Peacock butterfly caterpillars hatch in large communities, usually on nettles; initially they construct a large silk net to protect themselves from predators.

Peacock butterfly caterpillars Peacock butterfly caterpillars  

When the young emerge from the silk web they are greyish with black spines, developing into black with white spots as they grow.

Peacock butterfly caterpillars Peacock butterfly caterpillars Peacock butterfly chrysalis 
Peacock butterfly pupa 

The caterpillar on the right of this group is most unusual, with a colourless head and white spines.

Peacock butterfly chrysalis