If you’re on the Chevin over the weekend, watch out for these colourful butterflies – ten were seen together yesterday, feeding on thistle nectar between Yorkgate and Surprise View. You may of course see them in your garden, their numbers are holding up well, with the population increasing in many areas due to warmer temperatures. Whereas some of our butterflies migrate – for example the Painted Lady migrates all the way from North Africa – Peacocks are resident, hibernating in trees and buildings. The caterpillars are black with white spots and spikes at intervals along the length of their bodies. They like nettles. With wings closed, adults hope to avoid predators by blending in with leaves, but their impressive plan B, suddenly opening their wings to expose two pairs of eye-spots, is often effective in scaring birds as large as chickens. They also hiss, by rubbing the veins in their wings together, a deterrent they rely on when hibernating in the dark and threatened by rodents.
Photo by Pixabay