Photographer's Note

We were walking today under trees in blossom, and enjoying the sweetest smell of spring flowers.
Bees were buzzing, butterflies chasing each other in flight...I hate that winter that denies us all this beauty, but officialy the spring has come, and I'm smiling the whole day and enjoying myself.
This is my first butterfliy this year.

Inachis io
Family: Nymphalidae
Flight Time: June-August and Spring after hibernation.
Size: 54-60mm
You can see them emerge from their winter sleep with first sunny days.They are very common in Europe and Asia.They spend cold weather often wintering in buildings or trees.Therefore they often appear quite early in spring.The colourful “eyes” of the upper wings actually function as a large part of the self-defence of this butterfly. They may frighten off hungry predators such as birds. If you see the butterfly display the blue eyes of the hindwing, you’ll know the butterfly will be taking off in a second!

Geographical distribution/ habitat: Europe and the Northern part of Asia. Common in open fields, farmsteads, woodlands and gardens – where ever flowers grow.

Host plant: Common Nettle (urticaceae) only.
The caterpillars, which are shiny black with six rows of barbed spikes and a series of white dots on each segment, hatch after about a week and feed on nettles and hops.

Food plants: Not very fussy on them, but particularly fond of Buddleia and thistles. Cirsium arvense “Creeping thistle” seems to be a big favourite of them – as well as of many other butterflies.The adult butterflies drink nectar from a wide variety of flowering plants, including buddleia, sallows, dandelions, wild marjoram, danewort, hemp agrimony, and clover; they also utilize tree sap and rotten fruit.

Flight time: Single brooded and flies in July-September in Europe. Hibernates as an adult, and is one of the first butterflies to appear around March to April.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Tanja Almazan (silycat) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 83 W: 6 N: 110] (611)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2007-03-14
  • Categories: Nature
  • Exposure: f/4.8, 1/400 seconds
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2007-03-17 11:31
Viewed: 2643
Points: 7
  • None
Additional Photos by Tanja Almazan (silycat) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 83 W: 6 N: 110] (611)
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