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UK butterflies status


Inachis io

Another large and strong-flying butterfly of rich colours, having distinctive eye-spots, like those on a peacock’s tail feathers, on the tips of its forewings and hindwings, which have evolved to startle or confuse predators.

Very dark underwings, hard to distinguish from a dead leaf when hibernating.

Larval foodplants: stinging nettles.

Where seen: gardens, parks, orchards and woodland rides all across Britain.

Current conservation status: Increase of 43 per cent 1976–2008. Expanding north, especially in Scotland where it has recently spread into Highlands and north-east Scotland. Again, climate change is thought to be responsible.