The Peacock Butterfly (Aglais io) is also called the European Peacock Butterfly. It is a common butterfly found in Europe and some parts of Asia. The Caucasus Peacock Butterfly (Aglais io caucasica) is found in Georgia and Azerbaijan.
The Peacock Butterfly is rusty-red, with four large black, blue and yellow eyespots on each wingtip. The eyespots are its defence mechanism against predators, such as birds. Its underside is dark-brown.
It can have a wingspan of 55 centimetres (22 inches).
It prefers woods, forests, fields, meadows, parks, and gardens. The caterpillar eats leaves of specific plants, such as the stinging nettle. The adult butterfly eats nectar from plants and fruit.
The Caucasus Peacock Butterfly hibernates in winter.
They only mate with one partner. In spring, females lay about 400 olive-green eggs on the sides of leaves. The eggs hatch after about one week into shiny black caterpillars.
Caterpillars pupate – they make a chrysalis, which is a casing. Inside the casing, the caterpillar undergoes metamorphosis (changes), and it emerges as an adult butterfly.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM