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The White Peacock Butterfly - Its Diet and Other Facts
A Picture of a White Peacock Butterfly
Anartia Jatrophae - The White Peacock Butterfly
The White Peacock Butterfly makes its home in both Central and South America, as well as the West Indies. It sports a uniquely interesting pattern and white-gray color, with some flecks of orange and brown in some of its "eye spots". I think it is just another among many beauties found in my study of lepidoptera. I truly love butterflies and learning more about these stunning creatures.
As seen above the official name for the White Peacock is Anartia Jatrophae. The pattern that is created on the White Peacock butterfly turns out to be a checkered pattern. You will also see a little more orange and brown color in crescent shapes along the scalloped wings. The color is a bit more pronounced on the hindwings. The eye spots that you see (two on the hind wing, and one on the forewing) are ever helpful in the avoidance of predators that may get a bit confused by what appears to be large eyes. The eyes indicate the size of the creature, usually, thus the disguise in this case, as it appears something much larger than it actually is.
Note about possible conflicting information
One note on this picture to keep in mind is that it is one of many types of white peacock. There is some conflicting information that I have come across in researching this butterfly, like the exact detail and color on wings, and the degree of distinctiveness to it in this picture vs. others. I want to encourage also, that the facts about where it can be found be further researched as I came up with some conflicting information in that regard. It says in many places that it can be found in the west indies, but other sources didn't mention that.
More facts about the White Peacock.
With the White Peacock butterfly, both male and female are very similar in color and other ways, which isn't usually the case with a lot of the butterflies I have learned about. One source says there are many different forms as well, which could account for the variations in different pictures.
Caterpillars and their food
The caterpillar of the white peacock butterfly is silver spotted and has spines on it. The caterpillars eat water hyssop so that is where the White Peacock lays its eggs. Since butterflies can't rear their young, this is what they do for them, they lay the eggs on the food source that they need to survive. Instinctively the caterpillars know what to do once they are born which is just fascinating to me. Water hyssop has a beautiful lavender and white flower.
Food for adult White Peacock Butterflies
White Peacock butterflies tend to love nectar like most butterflies do. I have learned that they like Plumbago flower nectar, and Hempweed Vine flowers as examples. Its likely they like much more in the way of different nectar, but I am still learning on this topic.
Wingspan and Habitat
These butterflies have a wingspan that ranges anywhere from 2 inches to 2 and 3/8 inches. Their favorite habitat is is just wide open land which includes wasteland, yards and roadsides. In the West Indies and Central and South America they are fairly widespread. I was only lucky enough to capture this one with my camera because of a butterfly conservatory. So I am very thankful for that!
© 2011 Paula