Marbled White (Melanargia galathea)

Male. Taken at Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon on June 14th 2014.
(1/125th sec at f11. Approx 2x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Male underside. Taken at Bernwood Forest, Bucks on July 3rd 2015.
(1/500th sec at f13. Approx 2.25x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Female. Taken at Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon on July 2nd 2011.
(1/200th sec at f13. Approx 2x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Female underside. Taken at Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon., on June 28th 2014.
(1/1600th sec at f11. Approx 2x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Mating pair. Taken at Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon on July 2nd 2011.
(1/500th sec at f13. Approx 2x lifesize. © David Hastings)

F. procida. Taken at Goranje Taboriste, Croatia on June 5th 2017.
(1/160th sec at f13. Approx 2x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Ab. galene. Taken in the Vercors NP, France, on July 20th 2018.
(1/800th sec at f14. Approx 2x lifesize. © David Hastings)


Wing span: 45-47mm

The Marbled White is an attractive black and white butterfly which is unlikely to be mistaken for any other species. It is commonly encountered in grassy meadows and often feeds on purple flowers. Although largely white, it is classified as a 'Brown' butterfly as its life cycle and habits are very similar to other grassland 'Browns' such as the Ringlet, Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper.

It is found throughout most of southern and central England, north and east Yorkshire, and parts of south Wales. It is absent from Scotland and Ireland.

The Marbled White is found in unimproved grassland where the grass may grow up to 18 inches high. The largest colonies are found on downland but even small strips of grassland, such as road verges, field margins, woodland clearings and disused railway lines can also contain colonies.

There is one brood per year. Adults begin to emerge in mid-June, with the peak in mid-July, tailing off into August. The larva is the over-wintering stage.

The main larval foodplants are Red Fescue, Sheep's-fescue, Tor-grass and Yorkshire-fog.

Adults feed primarily on Thistles. Knapweeds, Marjoram, Red Clover, Thyme, White Clover and Yarrow are also used.

Adults often cluster together on suitable flower heads.

This species is of Least Concern on the UK list.


16-Jun-2019 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1)
15-Jun-2019 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1m)

25-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
23-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
22-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
21-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
20-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
19-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
14-Jul-2018 : Watlington Hill, Oxon (4)
14-Jul-2018 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (30+)
12-Jul-2018 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (3)
10-Jul-2018 : Fence Wood, Berks (5)
09-Jul-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (50+)
07-Jul-2018 : Besselsleigh Wood, Oxon (7)
05-Jul-2018 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
04-Jul-2018 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (135+)
02-Jul-2018 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (3)
01-Jul-2018 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
01-Jul-2018 : Fence Wood, Berks (6)
21-Jun-2018 : Daneway Banks, Gloucs (25+)
18-Jun-2018 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (2)
15-Jun-2018 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
14-Jun-2018 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (4)

23-Jul-2017 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (1)
18-Jul-2017 : Fence Wood, Berks (4)
09-Jul-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
08-Jul-2017 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (12)
02-Jul-2017 : Fence Wood, Berks (3)
02-Jul-2017 : Silchester Common, Hants (1)
01-Jul-2017 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (6)
01-Jul-2017 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (30+)
27-Jun-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (4+)
24-Jun-2017 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (70+)
18-Jun-2017 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (2)
15-Jun-2017 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (2)
14-Jun-2017 : Daneway Banks, Gloucs (5)
14-Jun-2017 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (3)
12-Jun-2017 : Croatia
10-Jun-2017 : Velebits National Park, Croatia
09-Jun-2017 : Paklenica National Park, Croatia
08-Jun-2017 : Paklenica National Park, Croatia
07-Jun-2017 : Starigrad, Croatia
07-Jun-2017 : Gracac, Croatia
07-Jun-2017 : Rovanjska, Croatia
06-Jun-2017 : Irinovac, Croatia
05-Jun-2017 : Goranje Taboriste, Croatia

31-Jul-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
30-Jul-2016 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (24+)
23-Jul-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
23-Jul-2016 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (2)
23-Jul-2016 : Bernwood Meadows, Bucks (20+)
16-Jul-2016 : Crookham Common, Berks (1m)
16-Jul-2016 : Silchester Common, Hants (1m)
14-Jul-2016 : Lardon Chase, Berks (25+)
11-Jul-2016 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (13)
09-Jul-2016 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (7)
30-Jun-2016 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (9m,1f)
28-Jun-2016 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (13+m,1f)
26-Jun-2016 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (10+m)
25-Jun-2016 : Daneway Banks, Gloucs (50+)
19-Jun-2016 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1m)

02-Aug-2015 : Bernwood Meadows, Bucks (14)
30-Jul-2015 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (9)
26-Jul-2015 : Bansko, Bulgaria
26-Jul-2015 : Bansko meadows, Bulgaria
25-Jul-2015 : Nr Dobrinishte, Bulgaria
23-Jul-2015 : Pirin Mountains, Bulgaria
22-Jul-2015 : nr Lilyanovo, Bulgaria
20-Jul-2015 : nr Samokov, Bulgaria
18-Jul-2015 : Crookham Common, Berks (1)
11-Jul-2015 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (50+)
11-Jul-2015 : The Holies, Berks (50+)
04-Jul-2015 : Calvert Jubilee, Bucks (25)
04-Jul-2015 : Charndon, Bucks (2)
03-Jul-2015 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (15+)
03-Jul-2015 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (8)
02-Jul-2015 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (11+)
02-Jul-2015 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (4)
30-Jun-2015 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
21-Jun-2015 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (4)
15-Jun-2015 : Collard Hill, Somerset (2)