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Science
THE LIVING WORLD
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PROGRAMME INFO
Sunday 06:35-07:00
The Living World is a gentle weekend natural history programme, presented by Lionel Kelleway, which aims to broadcast the best, most intimate encounters with British wildlife.
nhuradio@bbc.co.uk
LISTEN AGAINListen 25min
Listen to 10 July
PRESENTER
LIONEL KELLEWAY
Lionel Kelleway
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Sunday 10 July 2005
Lionel Kelleway, Trevor Beebe and Paul Harmes in search of the Great Silver Water Beetle.
Lionel Kelleway and Richard Fox of Butterfly Conservation follow the trail of the peacock butterfly.

Peacock Butterflies

Lionel Kelleway and Richard Fox of Butterfly Conservation follow the trail of the peacock butterfly in a journey which takes them from a disused World War Two in February bunker to a nettle bed in Devon in May.

The war bunkers were formerly important for radar surveillance of enemy aircraft.  They are now used as sheep shelters, as well as being a useful site for hibernating butterflies and moths. 

The peacock butterfly has spectacular red and blue colouring and large eye-spots.

They sit out the winter months in almost complete darkness awaiting a sufficient rise in temperature to entice them outside into spring.

They have an audio-visual defence system to deter predators during the winter.  They flap their wings to briefly reveal the bright eyespots and produced a series of high pitched squeaking sounds to ward off intruders.

The adults tend to mate around March or April. The females lay their eggs in large irregular clusters on the undersides of young nettle leaves.

Richard and Lionel travelled to Orley Common in Devon in May to catch up with the hatchling caterpillars resting in the nettle beds.

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