The spectacular Peacock Butterfly is a familiar sight in gardens in the UK and is unmistakable, with quite spectacular eyes on the upperside of the hindwings that give the Peacock butterfly its name. These eyes must appear very threatening to predators, such as mice, when confronting it head-on.

Peacock Butterfly‘ (Image by CRUSH Photography)

The underside is a different matter altogether, being almost black, providing perfect camouflage when the Peacock Butterfly is at rest on a tree trunk, or when hibernating.

Peacock Butterfly‘ (Image by CRUSH Photography)

In addition to camouflage and large eyes, it is able to make a hissing sound by rubbing its wings together that is audible to human ears. All in all, it must appear very threatening to any predator that might come across it. This is a highly mobile insect and occurs throughout the British Isles, although it is not found in parts of northern Scotland. However, its range does seem to be increasing, with sightings from new areas being recorded every year.

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Acknowledgements: Extract taken from "UK Butterflies"

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