Lepidoptera The Marbled White Butterfly – Melanargia Galatea

Our first member of this family is the exception to which we have already alluded as a relief to the general dinginess of the ‘Browns.’ Its colours above are cream and black, arranged as shown in Butterflies PicturesPlate V, fig. 2. The under side (fig. 77) is marked with white, black, and greenish grey, with a row of eye-like spots parallel with the hind margin of the hind wings.

Butterfly Image The Marbled White. Fig. 77.-The Marbled White-Under Side.

This butterfly is not known in Scotland or Ireland, nor is it to be found in several of the northern counties of England. Its chief haunts are the waste cliffy grounds of the southern and some of the midland counties of England, where it is usually restricted to certain small districts. In some places it is really a common insect, and among these may be mentioned Brighton, Horsham, Dover, Folkestone, Margate, Gravesend, New Forest, parts of Gloucestershire, Cambridgeshire, and Devonshire, also in the Isle of Wight and South Wales.

The perfect insect is out in July, during which month the eggs are deposited on various grasses, or indiscriminately on leaves and stems in grassy spots.

The caterpillar feeds on grasses; and, being still small at the end of the autumn, hybernates during the winter among the stems of grass. It feeds again in April, and is fully grown by the end of May. Its colour is a dull green or brownish, with a darker stripe down the back, and lighter stripes along the sides. Its spiracles are black.

The chrysalis is pale brown, marked with lines of a slightly darker shade. It may be found among grass stems, without any attachment, during the month of June.