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Photographs shown above:  © Nigel Sprowell



You may have noticed clusters of these black, bristly caterpillars on Holt Island recently. These are the caterpillars of the Peacock butterfly – you may also see these beautiful butterflies in your garden. The females lays around 500 eggs, usually on nettles (which are plentiful on Holt Island), which the caterpillars also eat. When the caterpillars hatch – after about two weeks – they spin a web in which they live and feed as a community. As they grow they live more in the open. The adult butterflies emerge in July.

Did you know? The “eye spots” on the Peacock butterfly are used to scare off predators.

Peacock butterfly caterpillars

Peacock butterfly