A Peacock in the fridge…

It’s not uncommon to find butterflies in the house at this time of year, like this slightly bedraggled Peacock (Aglais io)……


The Peacock is one of a few British butterflies that will overwinter as a dormant adult, often choosing sheds or outbuildings to shelter until the warmer weather comes.  They may find their way into houses in autumn, where they will be shaken out of dormancy when the heating is turned on – this is what has happened to this individual.  Unfortunately, this ‘false spring’ will exhaust the butterfly, and it is likely to die once awakened, with no nectar to sustain it and freezing temperatures outside.

The best thing to do with such a butterfly is to put it in a cool, safe place where it can sit out the winter.  We put this peacock in a container in the fridge to allow it to quickly re-enter dormancy; after a while cooling down next to the margarine, it was dormant and ready to be carefully placed in a garden shed.  With luck, this one will survive the winter and be ready to emerge in the warmth of the spring..



3 responses to “A Peacock in the fridge…

  1. Pingback: Small Tortoiseshell | WILD NOTTINGHAM

  2. I would probably be inclined not to disturb a hibernating butterfly, so this is good to know. I hope it survived the winter!


    Yes, I’ll try to find out if it has escaped the shed now the warmer weather has arrived….

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