Pretty as a Peacock

If you’ve got it, flaunt it!  That’s how peacocks see it.  They love flashing their iconic shimmering tail feathers with their tiny crystal like structures all over them – there’s nothing like a bit of bling to add to the show!  These ostentatious fowl display their impressive wares to catch the eye of a peahen and if that iridescent exhibition doesn’t get her quills all of a quiver, then the peacock has another trick up his wing – he pretends he’s crying out in passion, in the hope that’ll get her in the mood for love – so even boys fake sometimes …

Another fantastically adorned aeronaut is the peacock butterfly, whose wings are painted with big eyes, mimicking that famous peacock pattern.  Peacock butterflies can hide their light under a bushel, as they are masters at blending into the background, by closing up their wings to show just a plain dark underside – but don’t go thinking they’re timid, because these critters cherish their own space and will fiercely defend their home turf, hissing with their wings to ward off the competition!

Another lepidopteran lovely is the peacock moth.  They enjoy warm climes and dwell in sunnier spots.  That iconic eye is again the main feature of their winged patterns, beautifully displayed on the largest moth wingspan in Europe.  They’re not fussy feeders and will sample many types of trees, producing chameleon caterpillars that go from black to brown to bright green with blue spikes!  The moth’s delightful decoration caught the attention of both Aristotle (sometimes being called Aristotle’s silkworm) and Vincent Van Gogh, who produced a sketch or two of these good-lookers.

Beauty with a bash is delivered by the peacock mantis shrimp – it pretty alright – pretty potent!  With its colourful appearance, this sturdy shrimp sure knows how to punch above its weight!  With specially clubbed front legs, it’s far from demure – pound for pound its right hook is the most powerful on the planet!   It’s speedy too, so you won’t see its swing coming, but it’ll spot you immediately with its highly developed vision, nothing gets past it.  Not made for pet purposes, it’s been known to smash its way out of an aquarium!

What do you do when you want to attract a female, but not end up as her dinner?  The answer is to impress her with a spectacularly vibrant display of shimmying and shaking and that’s exactly what the tiny peacock spider does.  It goes like this: he raises his third pair of legs (which have little white socks on them) and waves enticingly to his intended; if she doesn’t look too interested, he will aim to gain her attention by raising his strikingly showy abdomen in the air and quivering it delightfully in her direction – maybe she’s mesmerised by the rainbow of colours; maybe she’s hypnotised by the rhythmic waving of his myriad of hues but if he’s lucky, she might come over for a closer look..he’d better have practiced his speedy side step though, just in case she really is feeling a little more peckish than passionate!

Possessing multicoloured scales doesn’t make the peacock cichlid fish showy; rather than flaunting his bright patterns, he chooses a quieter existence, dwelling in submerged underwater rock crevices and tree roots.  The only time he might get a bit ruffled is if his territory is under threat – he ‘kisses’ off his rivals in a lip-locking contest, with the winner getting to show his colours to the waiting harem of female fans.

You might think that your average bee would be perfectly content with wearing a stripy suit, but the peacock carpenter bee has a rather different view of fashion.  Instead of the usual yellow and black bands, she chooses an outfit of bejewelled cyan, to really stand out in the swarm.  Her metallic mantle reflects the light in a dazzling display.  As well as being on trend in the hottest fashion, she also knows a thing or two about working wood, creating tunnels up to 30cm (12in) long to house her brood of eggs – she’s one chic carver.

So go on, get out there and strut your stuff!

Published by candy hunter writer

Self publishing author - Childrens books. First book - Chuckle with Chumleigh; recently launched - Chumleigh and the Festive Secret and Chuckle with Chumleigh Again - available on Amazon.

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