The Common Peacock Butterfly, scientifically known as Papilio bianor, also commonly known as The Chinese Peacock Butterfly is a stunning butterfly that belongs to the family Papilionidae and is native to Asia. Known for their striking green iridescent coloration and distinctive eye spots on their wings, they resemble stained glass windows when they fly. Adult wingspan ranges from 90 to 130 mm, making them one of the larger butterflies in their native range.
Habitat of The Common Peacock Butterfly
The Common Peacock Butterfly favors lush green environments such as forests, orchards, gardens, and riverine habitats. They are often found at altitudes ranging from 200 to 2,500 meters above sea level. They prefer moderate temperatures and semi-humid conditions that offer an abundance of their primary larval host plants - citrus trees.
Flight Behavior and Pattern of The Common Peacock Butterfly
The flight of the Common Peacock Butterfly is strong and swift but also erratic. When they fly low over the ground or nectar at flowers, their fluttering movement may be unpredictable as they investigate their surroundings or evade predators.
Life Cycle of The Common Peacock Butterfly
The Common Peacock Butterfly undergoes a complete metamorphosis - egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis), and adult (butterfly). The females lay globular greenish-blue eggs singly on the leaves of suitable host plants. The caterpillar consumes its own eggshell before starting to feed on citrus leaves. The larva transforms into a unique-looking chrysalis that mimics a dry twig or leaf, providing effective camouflage. After emerging as an adult, the butterfly has limited time to mate and lay eggs, ensuring the continuation of their species.
Features and Behaviour: Male and Female Common Peacock Butterfly
The male Common Peacock Butterfly is slightly more vibrant than the female, with larger patches of shimmering blue or green scales on its wings. Males are territorial and can be quite aggressive when defending their chosen mating area against competing males.
Females have a more muted coloration, yet still exhibit the characteristic peacock wing pattern. They are relatively elusive, appearing mostly while laying eggs or nectaring at flowers.
Distribution and Spotting of The Common Peacock Butterfly in Nepal
While primarily found in China, Taiwan, and Japan, the Common Peacock Butterfly has migrated into neighboring countries like Nepal. They can be spotted mainly in Nepal's mid-hills region, particularly during the months of April to September when they are most active.
In conclusion, this butterfly is an enchanting creature that showcases nature's exquisite artistry. Whether you're a seasoned butterfly enthusiast or simply appreciate the beauty of these ethereal insects, consider adding the stunning Chinese Peacock to your must-see list when visiting Nepal.