Species of the Month - April 2013
The Peacock emerges from hibernation in late March or early April. These butterflies have become more numerous in our area in recent years and have not been put off by the hard winters of 2011 and 2012. It remains to be seen how the prolonged cold spell in Mar-Apr 2013 will affect them.
They look rather worn at this time of year, as they are about 8 months old as an adult butterfly, having flown around from flower to flower the previous Aug-Sep gorging themselves on nectar to see them through their hibernation. On emergence the males will look for a female who, after mating, will look for a nettle patch to lay her eggs on. The current generation will then die off and their eggs eventually produce late summer adults who will repeat the cycle.
In Spring, Peacocks are often seen basking on stones in the sunshine, as in the pictures below. They also spend time nectaring on flowers. All our records for Mar-Apr of feeding Peacocks are on Dandelion flowers, as in the top picture. It will be interesting to see if the use of any other flowers is recorded during this survey.
The eggs are laid in bunches at the tips of nettle plants, and the caterpillars stay together for a while, before moving off individually to find pupation sites.
The butterflies that emerge in August are much sleeker looking than the spring ones, as in the picture below.
Please send in your Peacock Butterfly sightings using the form below. If you are
not sure of the identity of your butterfly, please send a photo to email@example.com,
or put one on the
LORN forum and let me know it is there.
By filling in this form you consent to your record being passed on to the appropriate recording scheme. Your email address will not form part of the record and will not be passed on to anyone.
2 Apr: Two were seen on the LNHG recording field trip at Achnacloich, the first was spotted by Max Bonniwell and the second by Cynthia Grindley.
19 Apr: I found one basking on tarmac in the sun near Kilmore.
19 Apr: Marion saw several on the cycle track from Duror to Loch Creran.
20 Apr: Terry spotted one on our recording field trip at Craignish.
Note you can still send in records for past species of the month. Here is the list of species we've had so far:
Mar 2013 - Oak Beauty