Marbled White (Melanargia galatheas)

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

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

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

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

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

F. procida. Taken at Goranje Taboriste, Croatia on June 5th 2017.
(1/160th sec at f13. 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 listed as Least Concern in the latest Red List of British Butterflies (PDF).


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:Silchester Common, Hants(1)
02-Jul-2017:Fence Wood, Berks(3)
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:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(3)
14-Jun-2017:Daneway Banks, Gloucs(5)
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, Oxon(25)
04-Jul-2015:Charndon, Bucks(2)
03-Jul-2015:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(8)
03-Jul-2015:Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon(15+)
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)

09-Aug-2014:Pewsey Downs NNR, Wilts(1)
26-Jul-2014:Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon(11)
20-Jul-2014:Calvert Jubilee, Oxon(1)
20-Jul-2014:Finemere Wood, Bucks(7)
17-Jul-2014:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
15-Jul-2014:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
12-Jul-2014:Watlington Hill, Oxon(16)
12-Jul-2014:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
12-Jul-2014:Homefield Wood, Bucks(13+)
10-Jul-2014:University Parks, Oxford, Oxon(1)
06-Jul-2014:Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon(35+)
06-Jul-2014:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(1)
06-Jul-2014:Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon(40+)
05-Jul-2014:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
30-Jun-2014:Tophill Low, E. Yorks(1)
30-Jun-2014:Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit, E. Yorks(15+)
28-Jun-2014:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(50+)
24-Jun-2014:nr Novo Hodzhovo, Bulgaria
21-Jun-2014:Byal gradets, Bulgaria
21-Jun-2014:nr Gugutka, Bulgaria
20-Jun-2014:Golobradovo, Bulgaria
19-Jun-2014:Novo Zhelezare, Bulgaria
17-Jun-2014:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
16-Jun-2014:Daneway Banks, Gloucs(12+)
15-Jun-2014:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(3)
15-Jun-2014:Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon(1)
14-Jun-2014:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
14-Jun-2014:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(19+)
10-Jun-2014:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(1)

10-Aug-2013:Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon(1)
28-Jul-2013:Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon(11)
28-Jul-2013:Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon(8)
24-Jul-2013:Homefield Wood, Bucks(10)
21-Jul-2013:Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon(11+)
17-Jul-2013:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
14-Jul-2013:Parsonage Moor, Oxon(1)
14-Jul-2013:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(25+)
13-Jul-2013:Otmoor, Oxon(1)
13-Jul-2013:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(6)
13-Jul-2013:Bernwood Meadows, Bucks(40+)
08-Jul-2013:Daneway Banks, Gloucs(20+)
07-Jul-2013:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(2)
07-Jul-2013:Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon(4)
30-Jun-2013:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(1)
29-Jun-2013:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(5m,1f)