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Mike's Blog - Day 170

Another we have had before for you today, a Peacock butterfly on a Hydrangea paniculata.

The last time we saw these was very early on, Day 8. That one will have over wintered from last year, this is a new one. The life cycle is (approx.) eggs are laid in May, they hatch and the caterpillars feed on nettles in June then the chrysalis forms in July. So this will have emerged in August and will have to survive all the way to May 2021 to lay eggs.

Its life cycle looks much simpler than the other butterfly I saw that day, a Speckled Wood.

Speckled Woods seem to overwinter as caterpillars or chrysalises, and the butterflies themselves only fly from April to early October. They do not over winter as butterflies/adults like the Peacocks do. Their caterpillars feed on a few different grasses.

Correction! The speckled wood seems to have a very complicated life cycle. Take a look. Lots going on!

https://butterfly-conservation.org/butterflies/speckled-wood