North American Butterflies and Moths List

The definitive website on wildbirds & nature

The Registry of Nature Habitats

U.S. Geological Survey

Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Oregon

European Peacock (Inachis io)
JPG -- species photo

European Peacock (Inachis io [Linnaeus])

Wing span: 2 - 2 inches (5.1-6.4 cm).

Identification: Unmistakable. Chocolate brown above with blue peacock eye-spot on each wing. Below mottled brown-black like a tortoiseshell.

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.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5

Management needs: None needed.


Higgins, L.G. and N.D. Riley. 1970. A field guide to the butterflies of Britain 
     and Europe. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.369 pages.
Hinchliff, John. 1994. The distribution of the butterflies of Oregon. Oregon 
     State University Bookstore, Corvallis. 176 pages, map.

Thomas, J.A., 1992. Butterflies of the British Isles. Hamlyn Press, London. 
     160 pp.

Author: Paul A. Opler

State and Regional References:

Dornfeld, E. J. 1980. The Butterflies of Oregon. Forest Grove, 	Ore., Timber 

Hinchliff, J. 1994. An atlas of Oregon Butterflies. Oregon State University
     Bookstore, Corvallis.

Hinchliff, J. 1994. The distribution of the butterflies of Oregon. Evergreen 
     Aurelians. Oregon State University Bookstore, Corvallis, 176 pp. + map. 

Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised 
     edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.

Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. 
     Privately published, Denver, Colo. 

Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. 
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.
European Peacock (Inachis io)
distribution map
map legend

Return to species list
Return to Butterflies of North America main page