So, what do peacock butterflies eat? In short, adult peacock butterflies feed on nectar from flowers.

Here at Ditton Manor these popular UK butterflies are a common sight in our gardens.

Read on to learn more about what types of plants peacock butterflies eat, including their diet as caterpillars.

Peacock butterflies feeling on nectar of buddleia plant

Peacock Butterfly (Aglais Io) Diet

Peacock butterflies primarily feed on nectar from a variety of flowers. Their main food source includes thistle, betony, bluebell, cuckooflower, dandelion, and teasel.

Among these the buddleia plant (also referred to as the “butterfly bush”), is a favourite among many species of butterflies and months including the peacock.

The abundance of nectar in buddleia flowers makes it a popular choice, attracting these insects in large numbers. 

This preference highlights the importance of planting buddleia in gardens and natural habitats to support the peacock butterfly population.

Peacock butterfly caterpillar feeling on nettle

Peacock Butterfly Caterpillar Diet

Peacock butterfly caterpillars feed on the leaves of stinging nettles and hop plants. 

These leafy greens provide the essential nutrients that the caterpillars need to grow and eventually transform into beautiful butterflies. 

The dense clusters of stinging nettles found in the wild create an ideal habitat for these caterpillars, offering both food and protection from predators.

Watch the video below to witness the peacock butterfly lifecycle featuring caterpillars happily munching on their favourite plant – nettle!

We hope you liked learning all about the peacock butterfly’s diet. 

Luckily, this species of butterfly is found throughout the UK predominately in woods, gardens, parks and costal areas. 

If you want to encourage these species in your garden then be sure to plant some buddleia.

For more peacock butterfly related reads click HERE

What Do Peacock Butterflies Eat? | FAQs

What is the host plant for the peacock butterfly?

The host plants for the peacock butterfly’s caterpillars are primarily stinging nettles (Urtica dioica). The caterpillars feed on the leaves of these plants before undergoing metamorphosis into adult butterflies.

What attracts peacock butterflies?

Peacock butterflies are attracted to a variety of flowering plants. Among their favourite is the buddleia (buddleja) plant and under the right conditions, this plant can attract hundreds of butterflies a day.

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