Saturday, 18 April 2015

A-Z Challenge - Butterflies 'P'

P - Painted Lady, Peacock

These, as their names imply, are two of Britain's most colourful butterflies.

What's more they are frequent visitors to our Buddleia, aka Butterfly Bush, each summer.

Painted Lady
This Painted Lady however was sunning itself on the leaves of one of our Rhododendrons.

Its caterpillars are grey or black with yellow stripes on the side. They feed on may plants including thistles and nettles. 

The adult butterflies migrate and hibernate in the winter south of the Alps. Immigrants enter Britain from April. There are two or three broods between June and September

We often find a Peacock on the ground,

Peacock Butterfly (from our bedroom window)
However there is no doubt where they like the best,

On the Buddleia having driven off a Large White
They are happy of course to share a flower with others.

Peacock Butterflies on Buddleia
The brightly coloured eye-like markings on its wings are like the spots on a peacock's tail - hence its name.

When at rest the Peacock's eye-spot is hidden but when disturbed it opens its wings to display them and scare of any predatory birds.

Common throughout the British Isles they lay their eggs on nettles in April and May. Caterpillars are jet black and finely speckled with white. 

We saw our first Peacock this year on April 5th.

Peacock Butterfly Caterpillars

The butterflies emerge from the pupae from July and brighten the countryside until September or October. We will be looking out for them from when our Buddleia breaks into flower.

The Peacock also appears on a set of butterfly stamps issued by the Royal Mail.

Love is like a butterfly
As soft and gentle as a sigh
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

I feel it when you're with me
It happens when you kiss me
That rare and gentle feeling that I feel inside
Your touch is soft and gentle
Your kiss is warm and tender
Whenever I am with you I think of butterflies

Love is like a butterfly
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight

Photo attribution:

  • Peacock Butterfly Caterpillars: 28 June 2008, upload by Computerhotline, by Rictor Norton and David Allen - CC BY 2.0


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bob - they are both wonderful British Butterflies and love the Butterfly bush ...

Gorgeous photos .. even the creepy crawlie caterpillars .. Spring is here .. when these start coming out .. love seeing them around ..

Cheers Hilary

A Quiet Corner said...

That Peacok certainly lives up to it's name, Bob!!...:)JP

Carole Anne Carr said...

Another 'oh, how beautiful moment' - if we see two or three butterflies in our garden in the summer we are amazed. It must be the fact that we live in farming countryside, but I shall purchase 'butterfly bushes'.

Carole Anne Carr said...

How lovely of you to take an interest in the Pembrugge family. Look up Tong church, make sure you add Shropshire or you'll get China :0) One point of interest, the church, opposite the coaching inn where Charles Dickens stayed, was the starting point for his Old Curiosity saga, having heard about Little Nell in the village during his stay. I used the church on summer evenings as an extension of my classroom.

Karen S. said...

Fly me to another branch and another and another!

Jo said...

You can keep the caterpillars thanks. The butterflies are lovely though.

Bill Nicholls said...

Get them in our garden.

Maria said...

The caterpillars are a bit creepy for me but the adult grown up butterfly is pretty! The magic of metamorphosis!

Beth Lapin said...

Interesting! We have painted ladies and butterfly bush here in New England, but no peacocks.



Kristin said...

They are quite beautiful as adults but piles of little caterpillars make me shudder. They remind me of tent caterpillars we had in Michigan. I wonder what they turned into.