Marbled White (Melanargia galathea) – Devon, UK
Canon 300mm F4 IS plus 1.4 x Extender and Canon Extension Tube EF 25 II
AV Mode, Evaluative Metering dialed to -1
Text adapted from – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marbled_White
The Marbled White is a butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. Found across most of Europe (not Scandinavia), north Africa, and as far east as Iran, the late twentieth century has seen an expansion of its range in the UK.
Despite its common name, this butterfly is one of the “browns”, of the subfamily Satyrinae. They are a common sight in unimproved grasslands across southern Britain, particularly on the South Downs.
Like other members of its subfamily, the larvae feed on various grasses. The full range is unknown, but it is thought that Red Fescue Festuca rubra is essential in their diet. Eggs are laid on the wing, or from brief perches on grass stems, and are just sprinkled among the grass stems. Upon hatching, the larvae immediately enter hibernation, and only feed the following spring when the fresh growth occurs. They are a lime green colour, with a dark green line running down the middle of their back. Pupation takes place at ground level in a loose cocoon. Adults emerge in July, and, on a good site, in warm, sunny weather, thousands can be seen gently fluttering amongst the grass heads.
Another nickname for the Marbled White butterfly is the “Marmoress.”