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The White Peacock Butterfly - Its Diet and Other Facts

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A Picture of a White Peacock Butterfly

Special Thanks to Thomas Ruedas, who publicly shared this photo.  I love it with the red flowers.

Special Thanks to Thomas Ruedas, who publicly shared this photo. I love it with the red flowers.

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


Paula (author) from The Midwest, USA on August 05, 2013:

I too wish I had these butterflies in our yard! Thank you for your comment.

Chuck Melvin on July 31, 2013:

Great information. We see White Peacock butterflies on our walks on the Cross Seminole Trail. We would like to have them in our yard, but we don't have the right conditions for Water Hyssop. Please visit our website and make comment.

Paula (author) from The Midwest, USA on October 18, 2012:

Sg, thanks for stopping by my hub, and I agree with you! They are so amazing. Have a great day.

sg on October 18, 2012:

Scroll to Continue

These are pretty amazing creatures!

Paula (author) from The Midwest, USA on July 23, 2012:

Thanks Amelia, I think you are right, that male and female white peacock butterflies have similar coloring.

Amelia G. on July 22, 2012:

Male and Female have very similar colors. :)

Paula (author) from The Midwest, USA on July 16, 2012:

Amelia, yes that is true that the white peacocks like flower nectar. Some like other things, but the nectar is a biggie with butterflies.

Amelia G. on July 16, 2012:

like most butterflies, they love nectar

Paula (author) from The Midwest, USA on July 15, 2012:

Amelia, I think the white peacocks are beautiful butterflies also. It is neat to find out more about these butterflies, and I am glad you found them interesting. A lot more is going on with them than just their beauty.

Amelia G. on July 15, 2012:

Wow! these butterflies are beautiful. I even did a report on them and they're quite interesting!

Paula (author) from The Midwest, USA on June 16, 2012:

Hi James, I find that lantana is a favorite flower of many butterflies! I love that flower, as it can thrive in very hot conditions. It makes sense to me that butterflies like the white peacock would love the lantana in your garden. How wonderful!

Thank you for the visit and comment.

Jamesd45 on June 16, 2012:

The white peacock at least in my backyard sure loves lantana.

Paula (author) from The Midwest, USA on April 14, 2012:

Hello Nellieanna, I agree it is a lovely creature. I am so glad you did an aesthetic tribute to the white peacock bird, I will come take a peak! Both kinds of white peacocks are such lovely creatures, and bring joy to the soul, or at least they do for me.

So glad you found my hub also, thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment. :) Have a nice day.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on April 13, 2012:

Lovely creature. I found your hub alongside a hub I just published, 'White Peacock' - which is not a scientific study, but an aesthetic tribute to that lovely creature. Glad to find this hub of yours!

b on October 12, 2011:


Paula (author) from The Midwest, USA on October 06, 2011:

Hello B, than you for the question. They love nectar like almost all butterflies do. I have learned that they like Plumbago flower nectar, and Hempweed Vine flowers. I will add this information to my hub as well to be more thorough, so thank you again.

b on October 06, 2011:

what dothey eat

Paula (author) from The Midwest, USA on February 20, 2011:

KoffeeKlath Gals, I totally agree with you, that there is something about watching a butterfly that makes you feel so free. Especially after knowing what they have gone through to get to that point, a total transformation, and almost a whole new creature that can now fly instead of crawl. I truly love them!

Susan Hazelton from Northern New York on February 05, 2011:

It certainly is a beautiful butterflies. There's something about watching a butterfly that makes you feel so free. Great job.

Paula (author) from The Midwest, USA on February 03, 2011:

Thank you Truckstop Sally! Aren't they curious little creatures? So glad you stoppedy by.

Paula (author) from The Midwest, USA on February 03, 2011:

Hi AustinStar, thank you very much, I am so glad you liked my photo! I will have to consider your contest, it sounds like fun! Thanks for your comment, I like to know where the butterflies are from.

Paula (author) from The Midwest, USA on February 03, 2011:

Thank you Samsons! Always great to find a fellow lover of butterflies. :)

Paula (author) from The Midwest, USA on February 03, 2011:

So glad you stopped by Rpalulis. I think they are stunning too, and thanks for your comment :) So happy to share what I find and take pictures of. It brings me a lot of joy to observe and learn about these lovely creatures.

Truckstop Sally on February 02, 2011:

I too find the caterpillars facsinating. Thanks!

Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on February 02, 2011:

It's a lovely photo! Please consider entering my unofficial photo contest. (Killer Ideas for Your Next Photograph). Good fun and a small amount of publicity.

I love the map thing!

Sam from Tennessee on February 01, 2011:

voted up and beautiful! I love butterflies...

rpalulis from NY on February 01, 2011:

The White Peacock Butterfly a stunning creature indeed. I think it is so wonderful that you have such an interest in these beautiful creatures and thank you for sharing your research and photos with us.

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