The peacock (Inachis io) is very often the first butterfly seen in our gardens each spring as they hibernate and can awake on any warm day in early spring. It will often be the off-spring of these early insects that we see later in July and August and the peacock should be a common sight right through until October, perhaps even beyond.
The food plant for the larvae of the peacock is the common, or stinging, nettle but the adults will nectar at any suitable flower including thistles and knapweeds. The peacock is a very common butterfly in Dorset and can be seen in grassy habitats everywhere including gardens, hedgerows, woodland rides and glades, as well as on our chalk downlands and cliffs.
Those large eyes on the wings are unmistakable.