Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

European Peacock
Inachis io (Linnaeus, 1758)


Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Nymphalinae
Identification: Unmistakable. Chocolate brown above with blue peacock eye-spot on each wing. Below mottled brown-black like a tortoiseshell.
Wing Span: 2 - 2 ½ inches (5.1-6.4 cm).
Life History: Males perch to await females. After mating, females lay batches of eggs on leaves or stems of stinging nettle (Urtica). Larvae feed in late spring and early summer. Adults emerge in summer and overwinter until the following spring.
Flight: July-May.
Caterpillar Hosts: Stinging nettle.
Adult Food: Sap flows, rotting fruits, dung, and flower nectar including butterflybush, yellow composites, bramble, and thistles.
Habitat: Various woodlands and gardens.
Range: Temperate Eurasia. Rare stray or transport to North America.
Conservation: Not needed for rare vagrant.
NCGR: G5
Management Needs: None needed.
Comments: NULL