Larvae of the Peacock butterfly

Larvae of the Peacock butterfly

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Second instar larvae (caterpillars) of the Peacock butterfly, Inachis Io, on a plant of stinging nettle, Urtica dioica. Early instars larvae feed communally; when ready to pupate, they disperse widely, often walking many metres from their original food plants in order to pupate individually on nearby trees, bushes or walls. The Peacock is a common and widespread butterfly in the UK, where it shows nomadic behaviour, but rarely migrates across seas. The eyespots on the wings of the adult (imago) are an effective defence mechanism, augmented by the butterfly's ability to produce a hissing sound by rubbing its wings together as it opens them to display the visual warning of the eyespots

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Keywords: biological, biology, botanical, botany, butterfly, caterpillar, communal larvae, eyespot, inachis io, instar, larva, peacock, stinging nettle, urtica dioica, zoological, zoology

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