The Aglais io, also known as the European Peacock, is a butterfly species that is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. 

Here are some characteristics of the Aglais io butterfly:

  • Physical characteristics: The Aglais io has bright, colorful wings that are typically blue, green, or purple in color. The wings have distinctive “eyespots” that are surrounded by a black and orange border. The wingspan of the Aglais io ranges from 50-70 mm.
  • Preferred habitat: The Aglais io prefers open, sunny habitats such as meadows, fields, and gardens. It is often found near bodies of water and in areas with a variety of flowering plants.
  • Temperature and humidity: The Aglais io is most active in warm, humid conditions. It prefers temperatures ranging from 20-30°C and relative humidity levels of around 70%.
  • Host plants: The Aglais io lays its eggs on a variety of host plants, including nettles (Urtica dioica), hops (Humulus lupulus), and hemp-agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum).
  • Nektar plants: The Aglais io feeds on the nectar of a variety of flowering plants, including thistles, clovers, and dandelions.
  • Life cycle: The life cycle of the Aglais io consists of four stages: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis), and adult butterfly. At a constant temperature of 24°C, the duration of each stage is as follows:

Egg: The eggs of the Aglais io hatch after about 10-14 days.

Larva (caterpillar): The larval stage lasts for about 3-4 weeks. The caterpillars of the Aglais io typically molt (shed their skin) 5 times as they grow.

Pupa (chrysalis): The pupal stage lasts for about 2-3 weeks. The pupa of the Aglais io is typically green or brown in color and is well-camouflaged among leaves and plants.

Adult butterfly: The adult butterfly stage lasts for about 2-4 weeks.

Overwintering: The Aglais io overwinters as a pupa, typically emerging as an adult butterfly in the spring.

Egg-laying: The Aglais io lays its eggs singly on the underside of host plant leaves.

Breeding at home: To breed Aglais io butterflies at home, you will need to provide the following:

  • A suitable habitat: Create a space that is warm, sunny, and humid.
  • Host plants: Provide a variety of host plants for the Aglais io to lay its eggs on, such as nettles, hops, and hemp-agrimony.
  • Nektar plants: Plant a variety of flowering plants that will provide nectar for the adult butterflies to feed on, such as thistles, clovers, and dandelions.
  • Temperature and humidity: Keep the habitat warm and humid by providing a heat source and using a humidifier.
  • Breeding containers: Set up breeding containers for the caterpillars and pupae, such as small plastic containers or mesh cages.
  • Monitoring and care: Monitor the development of the eggs, caterpillars, pupae, and adult butterflies and provide proper care as needed. This may include providing fresh host plants for the caterpillars to feed on, maintaining the temperature and humidity of the habitat, and releasing the adult butterflies when they are ready.

By providing a suitable habitat and proper care, you can successfully breed Aglais io butterflies at home. It is important to note that breeding butterflies requires a significant amount of time, effort, and attention to detail, and it is not a task that is suitable for everyone. However, for those who are dedicated and passionate about butterflies, breeding them can be a rewarding and educational experience.

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