PEACOCK BUTTERFLIES Peacocks emerge in April or May. The big ‘eyes’ are a means of scaring predators for long enough for the butterfly to get away. They are strong fliers. Eggs are laid on stinging nettles. The black, fuzzy and slightly spiny young hatch and grow and feed as a community until they disperse. Emerging in July as butterflies they visit and feed on a great variety of flowers, especially those with a flattish surface area such as buddleias (a huge favourite) and many others. They hibernate in attics, sheds and dry buildings.