Inachis io


A strikingly beautiful, red butterfly, so-named for the large blue and yellow 'eyes' on each upperwing, similar in appearance to the tail feathers of a Peacock. It is on the wing throughout the year, having a single brood, and overwinters as an adult. A very common butterfly, the Peacock is a regular visitor to our gardens where it feeds on Buddleia and other flowers. The caterpillars feed on Common Nettles.

How to identify

Unmistakeable, perhaps the most familiar butterfly.

Where to find it

Found right across the country, although less common in northern Scotland.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Butterflies such as the Peacock will happily visit your garden and are a joy to watch. To attract Peacocks into your garden, plant Buddleia bushes and nectar-rich borders for them to feed on, and leave patches of nettles for the caterpillars. For overwintering insects, plant climbing Ivy and shrubs. To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Inachis io
Butterflies and moths
Wingspan: 6.3-7.5cm
Conservation status