NS5473 : Peacock caterpillar

taken 1 year ago, near to Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

Peacock caterpillar
Peacock caterpillar
This caterpillar of a peacock butterfly (Aglais io) was one of a large number scattered around a patch of stinging nettles. Peacock caterpillars will usually only feed on this plant. The female butterfly lays her eggs in a batch on the underside of a nettle leaf in spring. When the caterpillars hatch they will spin webs of silk (protection against predators) and feed communally. They go through five 'instars', moulting four times, until they are full-grown. At this point the caterpillars will spread out and rely on their spines to deter any birds from eating them. This one was either looking for another nettle leaf to feed on, or was starting to search for somewhere to pupate.
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NS5473, 140 images   (more nearby search)
Photographer
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 30 June, 2020   (more nearby)
Submitted
Tuesday, 30 June, 2020
Geographical Context
Grassland  Wild Animals, Plants and Mushrooms 
Primary Subject of Photo
Caterpillar 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 5485 7316 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:55.7719N 4:19.4904W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 5485 7316
View Direction
Northeast (about 45 degrees)
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Peacock Butterfly 

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