The first thing that I want to say is that I'm extremely sorry for the lack of posts this week. I've been really busy, doing something nearly every day of the week.
On Tuesday (July 16th) I was in for a rather pleasant surprise, as I found that one of my Peacock butterflies had emerged from a pupa, one of many that I have been rearing (see my previous post, Caterpillar Nursery). This was the very first Peacock to emerge! I released the little beauty an hour or so later, giving it some time to warm itself up and prepare for flight first.
The next day, we were in for another pleasant surprise. Another 8 Peacock butterflies had emerged! We took them outside to take some pictures of them, and luckily they co-operated, with only a few flying off.
This Peacock (Inachis io) sat on the bark for a while, soaking up the sunlight.
A living ear ring!
This image demonstrates the dark colouration of the underwing, providing perfect camouflage when at rest.
This specimen has just emerged from its pupa, and is in the process of pumping blood into its wings to spread them out.
We noticed that the butterflies were exuding a sort of golden substance. This is called meconium and the butterflies were exuding it on purpose. When they first emerge from the pupa, the butterflies will not immediately be able to fly and will be extremely vulnerable. However, the meconium is foul-tasting, discouraging any predators hoping for an easy meal.
The next day produced another 4 Peacocks. The following day we had another 3, and today (July 20th) we have another 6! If you do a little bit of maths, you'll find that we've had a total of 19 Peacocks emerge. And there's still some pupae and caterpillars left!
I've really enjoyed rearing these Peacocks, and would highly recommend trying it yourself.