7th April 2015

Three Peacock Butterflies were regularly in the garden yesterday and it was possible to watch their territorial behaviour. One male (from its behaviour) patrolled an area near a patch of nettles (where the eggs are eventually laid), regularly settling on the ground at several spots, thus claiming a territory. When another male flew into the area, the resident male immediately flew round its territory before the two males flew rapidly upward in a spiral flight, each trying to get higher than the other. Usually  the resident wins this spiral ‘combat’ and that happened with this male, when it returned to its established perches on the ground before being set off on its rival spiral flights again and again. Even a bird flying through could set it off patrolling for a while. More on the Peacock tomorrow! Several species of butterfly do this spiral ‘dance’. Conditions: Sunny, mild and still though not as hot as yesterday. Temperature: Max 15- Min 7c.

This male Peacock displayed on several ground-perches near some nettles in the garden

This male Peacock displayed on several ground-perches near some nettles in the garden

It didn't feed during this period, but opened and closed its wings, making itself very visible round it's chosen territory

It didn’t feed during this period, but opened and closed its wings, making itself very visible round it’s chosen territory

Wen the rival male entered the territory they flew in a rapid upward spiral together

Wen the rival male entered the territory they flew in a rapid upward spiral together

They rapidly climbed in a tight spiral together, the one reaching highest wining the territory. They did this many times over a couple of hours

They rapidly climbed in a tight spiral together, the one reaching highest winning the territory. They did this many times over a couple of hours

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