Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Peacock butterfly in the Irish woodlands

Peacock Butterfly 1
Peacock butterfly in the Irish woodlands
Irish wildlife and nature photography : Nigel Borrington

Irish wood lands

One sight I love to see in the summertime is the Peacock butterfly as I walk through the local county kilkenny woodlands, They add so much life and colour to the green of the hedgerows and paths.

Unlike some wildlife they are not hard to find or take pictures of, you do need to move very slowly in order not to disturbed them and you need a camera with a macro lens.

The butterfly conservation website has the following details.

Scientific name: Aglais io

Red wings with black markings and distinctive eyespots on tips of fore and hind wings.

The Peacock’s spectacular pattern of eyespots, evolved to startle or confuse predators, make it one of the most easily recognized and best known species. It is from these wing markings that the butterfly gained its common name. Undersides of the wings are very dark and look like dead leaves. A fairly large butterfly and a strong flyer.

Although a familiar visitor to garden buddleias in late summer, the Peacock’s strong flight and nomadic instincts lead it to range widely through the countryside, often finding its preferred habitats in the shelter of woodland clearings, rides, and edges.

The species is widespread and has continued to expand its range in northern parts of Britain and Ireland.
Size and Family

Family – Nymphalids
Medium/Large Sized
Wing Span Range (male to female) – 63-69mm

Conservation status

UK BAP status: Not listed
Butterfly Conservation priority: Low
European status: Not threatened

Caterpillar Foodplants

Common Nettle (Urtica dioica), although eggs and larvae are occasionally reported on Small Nettle (U. urens) and Hop (Humulus lupulus)

Countries – England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales
Throughout Britain and Ireland
Distribution Trend Since 1970’s = +17%


Common and found in a range of habitats.

9 responses

  1. Wow, that’s a gorgeous butterfly!!! Love the colours 🙂

    August 27, 2013 at 10:26 am

    • Hello Norma, 🙂

      Thank you 🙂

      Yes I just love to see these, the last few years they have had a hard time our summers were very wet, not this year they were out in big numbers 🙂

      August 27, 2013 at 10:34 am

  2. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography)

    Lovely shot Nigel.

    It certainly is a beautiful butterfly.

    August 27, 2013 at 10:39 am

    • Hello Victoria 🙂

      Thank you, I am very please you liked this, I know you love nature shots very much and have some wonderful images yourself, so a big thank you 🙂

      August 27, 2013 at 10:43 am

  3. Wow, she’s a beauty! Certainly peacock colours. What a treat to see a butterfly with red markings. Just a stunning creature. Thank you Nigel 🙂

    August 27, 2013 at 11:22 am

    • Hello Sharon 🙂

      Thank you, I love seeing these each summer, very pleased you enjoyed them as well 🙂

      August 27, 2013 at 1:24 pm

  4. artscottnet

    good day, Nigel. Between you and Sharon, something tells me my first pastel projects will be butterflies 🙂 Excellent capture!

    August 27, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    • Hello Scott 🙂

      I know, that was a pure accident, I sent her a message on facebook the moment I noticed, in tune over the ether without the inter-net 🙂

      Thanks Scott 🙂

      August 28, 2013 at 9:46 am

  5. 1annecasey

    Oh wow – what a magnificent capture!!

    September 3, 2013 at 7:15 am

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