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European Peacock; Mariposa pavo real

Aglais io


This butterfly cannot be confused with any other species thanks to the large ocella, surrounded by yellow and black, in the shape of an eye, which shines on each of its wings. The rest of the upperside of the wing is bright red, with black spots on the front edge of the forewings and a greyish margin on the four wings. The underside of the wings is almost black, crossed by lighter faint lines. It reaches six centimeters in wingspan. Adults spend the winter hiding under the bark of trees and emerge in the first warm days, at the end of winter or early spring. The caterpilalrs are great eaters of nettles (Urtica dioica), so they incorporate the formic acid of these to their circulatory system, which gives them a magnificent method of defense, because it gives them bad flavor.


Spotted at an oak forest (Q. pyrenaica). Reserva de la Biosfera del Real Sitio de San Ildefonso-El Espinar.


Camera Model: NIKON D500. Exposure Time: 1/500 sec.; f/10; ISO Speed Rating: 635. Exposure Bias: 0 EV. Focal Length: 300.0 mm. No flash fired. DSC_4207, 03

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Spotted by

Castilla y León, Spain

Spotted on Jun 23, 2019
Submitted on Oct 16, 2019

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