Somerset Wildlife Trust

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Marbled White

Marbled White

Scientific name: Melanargia galathea

The Marbled White butterfly is a common sight in unimproved grasslands across southern Britain.

The larvae feed on various grasses. The full range is unknown, but it is thought that Red Fescue 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. The larvae 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.

Information and photograph courtesy of