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Small Peacock Butterfly

Dazzlingly elegant. The Small Peacock Butterfly (Saturnia pavonia) can be considered a typical species of Calluna-Heiden although it can also be found in other habitat types. The short-lived butterflies, they only live for a few days, are mainly active during the day and the males can be seen flying from the beginning of April. The flightless females initially stay in one place after hatching and emit pheromones that can be detected by searching males from several kilometers away. The females are often besieged by the first males while they are still hatching and are immediately mated after hatching. Only after the first egg-laying do the nocturnal females begin to fly longer distances to deposit the rest of their eggs in more distant places.

Despite its name, the Small Peacock Butterfly is one of our largest moths and also one of the most beautiful.
Small night peacock butterflies prefer open areas with shrubs, forest edges, moorsheiden, orchards, gravel pits, overgrown gardens, dry and poor grasslands, but also wetlands!
Up to 20% of the butterflies do not hatch until the following year or even the year after that, which is called 'overlay'. The biological significance of this delay is that due to their short lifespan and persistent bad weather, the males cannot fly. In any case, even if only a small part of the population will be preserved in subsequent years.

As their habitat becomes increasingly restricted, the number of small peacock butterflies continues to decline.



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Naturpark High mark
Tourist Info in NaturparkhouseTiergarten Schloss Raesfeld
Tiergarten 1
46348 Raesfeld
Phone: 02865 – 609110