Smile! The world is a beautiful place (^_^)

2018-14

Yay, first butterflies of the year! The European Peacock butterfly (Aglais io) usually spend the winters in buildings or trees, and therefore often appear quite early in the spring.  Before it goes into hibernation, it convert some of their blood sugar into glycerol which works as a kind of “anti-freeze” during the cold winter. Clever, eh! After hibernation (March or April), it will lay its eggs, often in batches of 500 (!) at a time and several layers deep to increase the chance that some will be protected from desiccation and birds. In the next coming weeks, the adults have lived for almost a year and they die of old age. Around the same time, the caterpillars of the next generation hatch and in July they form chrysalides, in August they emerge as adults, and in September they go into hibernation. And so the cycle goes on!

Note: It shouldn’t be confused with the American Peacock butterfly (Anartia), they’re not closely related.

More interesting information and pictures can be found on this excellent learning site here

10 responses

  1. Beautiful photos! I love the Peacock Butterfly, but have yet to see any butterflies around here this spring.

    April 8, 2018 at 1:28 PM

    • Thanks so much, Pete! 🙂 The season just started here, I hope to see a lot more soon!

      April 9, 2018 at 3:06 PM

  2. Excellent Camilla! Great to see them back.

    April 8, 2018 at 2:09 PM

  3. Hi, Camilla 🙂
    Lovely macro photography. Those vibrant colours really hit home.
    And thanks for the scientific details. You could become my place to go for insect info!! 🙂
    Have a good week.

    April 8, 2018 at 4:07 PM

    • Hi John, thanks so much! 🙂 I don’t know that much about insects, but I learn as I go along!
      Have a good week you too, and hi to Daphne!

      April 9, 2018 at 3:09 PM

  4. Wow, that’s quite an intensely colored butterfly for the first of the year!! I’m used to very plain butterflies early on. The reproductive cycles and strategies are so interesting and varied in butterflies, thank you for describing this one. Beautiful, Camilla, I bet you’re happy!

    April 11, 2018 at 4:27 PM

    • Thanks so much, Lynn! 🙂 I am thrilled the bugs are returning! Very exciting times now, you never know what you’re gonna find on your photo walks!

      April 11, 2018 at 5:08 PM

  5. How beautiful and you provide great information, too. Wonderful images, Camilla.

    April 15, 2018 at 10:06 PM

    • Thanks so much, Jane! I’m not a writer but I try to share some brief facts or observations, especially when it comes to bugs.

      April 16, 2018 at 11:34 AM

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