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Image contributed by U.K
photographer Michael Godfrey
Butterfly populations are a very good indicator of the health of an area's ecosystem !!
Images 2, 3, contributed by
U.Kphotographer Steve Oddy.
Also known as the Red Anartia butterfly, the Scarlet Peacock butterfly or the Red Peacock butterfly.
The Brown Peacock is common in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, the Brazilian highlands, the eastern Amazon, the Guianas, Venezuela, and Panama, as well as Trinidad and other Caribbean islands, as well as other fringe areas.
They are mostly active in the sunshine, fluttering around hot, dry areas, glades, forest clearings, fields and orchards.
They fly during rain showers and hide during rainy weather in low foliage areas.
Peacocks roost beneath leaves, in grasses, weedy areas or bushes.
At night, they hang upside down on the bottoms of leaves and close their wings.
They often roost in groups of a dozen or even a hundred or more at a time.
They are a lightly built, medium sized butterfly with a wing span of approximately 4 cm.
The base colour of the wings is either dark brown or black usually with three large red spots located near the base of the lower wings.
Males have a distinct red coloration, whereas females are somewhat larger and more orange colored.
Most butterfly wings are covered with tiny scales which reflect light, which is observed as their coloration. (Famously, the Blue Morpho).
The orientation of these scales also aids in heat regulation.
Both sexes have a band that spans both the top (dorsal) wings and part of the lower (ventral) wings with a series of white spots.
The ventral side of this butterfly is very similar in pattern but much paler in color than the dorsal side.
The markings that are black on the dorsal surface of this butterfly are pale brown on the ventral side. The head is quite small and the antennae are slender and shorter than the length of the body.
The flight pattern is described as jaunty and erratic, with a height no more than 2-5 meters above the ground.
Once Anartia amathea lands, usually on vegetation, it spreads its wings and orients towards the sun so that it can thermoregulate.
When conditions are overcast, however, it orients in a random direction Several other names are given to this butterfly in Trinidad and Tobago and other Caribbean islands. Some of the other names are the Red Anartia, Red Peacock or Scarlet Peacock butterfly.
Females often take part in a mating rejection process.
The female butterfly will hold her wings erect while flying in a back and forth pattern to express a lack of interest to the male.
* Adult Anartia amathea life is short; somewhere between one and two weeks
Caterpillar diet: Stinging Nettles.
Adult diet: nectar of the herbaceous plants of the Acanthacae family and Milkweed.
Wing span: approximately 4 cm / 1.57”
The single biggest threat to butterfly survival is habitat destruction!!
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