Identification and the Life Cycle of the Peacock Butterfly
History of the peacock butterfly
As the name depicts the peacock butterfly is one of the most beautiful butterflies ever. These butterflies show off their beauty by displaying their bright colors that will get the attention of anyone. The peacock butterflies are a real show stopper and populate places such as Scotland, England, Britain, Wales, and Ireland.
Other species like the banded peacock butterfly can be found in places such as Central America, Costa Rica, Texas, and Mexico. The peacock butterfly belongs to the family Nymphalidae and is mostly single brooded.
The peacock butterflies love open areas that are subtropical where they can be found actively in their habitat feeding on nectar plants, mating, or taking a rest. Once the female mates, she can lay up to five hundred eggs ensuring the presence of the next generation. Below we will be going more in-depth as we take our journey into the life of the peacock butterfly.
The peacock butterfly natural habitat
These butterflies can be found in areas such as pastures, meadows, woods, fields, gardens, and parks,
The life cycle of the peacock butterfly
1. The female will deposit her eggs on the host plant (nettles) which will be the food for the larva or caterpillars.
2. The eggs are very small but hatch in about 2 weeks.
3. A silk web is spun and the larva or caterpillar begins to feed they are huge eaters causing them to grow rapidly.
4. In a month most of them are fully grown and will spread over the garden area.
5. The mature caterpillar can be recognized by black spines, white dots, and a long body that resembles velvet.
6. As the caterpillar enters its final stage it forms a chrysalis that is secured by a pad that’s spun from silk.
7. This silk pad is support on a structure or a plant’s stem.
8. The chrysalis may be dark grey or pale green in color.
9. In about 2 weeks or thereabout a beautiful butterfly will emerge.
Attracting the peacock butterfly to your garden
To attract the peacock butterfly to your garden area follow these simple but yet effective steps.
1. The right choice of plants is so important, choosing garden plants they can’t resist such as nettles, buddleia, and other nectar-producing plants.
2. When installing plants place them in the full sunlight and in masses.
3. Installing shrubs and tall plants will act as a windbreaker not only to slow down the wind speed but will provide a place of safety.
4. Using lots of bright colorful nectar plants which they love will get them excited.
5. Placing a few medium-size rocks in your garden area will provide a resting place.
6. Placing a dish or two of water mix with sand will provide them with the water and minerals they need.
7. Creating a puddle station in a small part of your garden will also provide the peacock butterfly with moisture and minerals.
12 fun facts about the peacock butterfly
1. The peacock butterfly is strong and can travel great distances.
2. To ward off predators this butterfly will rub its wings together that sounds like hissing.
3. The females can lay up to 500 eggs.
4. The larva or the caterpillar of the peacock butterfly grows rapidly because of its huge appetite.
5. When it’s time to rest the peacock butterfly closes its wings.
6. The peacock butterfly can live up to 11 months which is a long time in the butterfly world.
7. The peacock butterfly name is derived from its pattern of colorful wings.
8. The adult butterfly drinks nectar while the caterpillar eats nettles.
9. Eyespots patterns can be found on their wings to keep predators at bay.
10. These butterflies may be one of the first that is spotted during springtime.
11. Both the male and the female have the same wingspan of about 55mm.
12. The male butterfly has been known to protect their territory that includes their water habitat nesting sites and foraging areas, they will also fly towards insects that come close to their territory.
1. Don’t squash caterpillars because they may just be the larva of the peacock butterfly.
2. When watering garden plants apply from the ground or soil level to protect from knocking the larva of the plant.
3. Don’t use harmful pesticides that can kill both the adult and the caterpillar of the peacock butterfly.
4. Harmful pesticides will also have an adverse effect on beneficial insects.
6. Giving your garden plants the right amount of water is so important in keeping them healthy not only for a beautiful garden but ensuring that plants are producing foods for these butterflies.
7. The use of fertilizers will help to keep garden plants thriving. Before applying fertilizers read and follow the manufactures label.
8. Applying a 2-3 inch layer of mulch will give you these benefits.
9. Keep birdbaths and feeders away from butterfly habitat because the last thing you want is for the larva or caterpillar to become bird food.
The final word about the peacock butterfly
As proud as a peacock these butterflies will display their many colors gracing your gardens and landscapes with such flavors because of their presence. These butterflies are among some of the most beautiful and will fill your garden with activity as you watch them in their natural habitat so go for it because you will not only provide a home for them but help in bringing balance to our ecosystem which I believe is a win-win.