Marbled White - Melanargia galathea


This butterfly is unmistakable, its black and white markings distinguishing it from all other species found in the British Isles.

Identification difficulty

The butterfly is found in unimproved grassland where the grass may grow up to 0.5m tall. The largest colonies are found on downland but even small strips of grassland, such as a road verge, field margins, woodland clearings and disused railway lines can contain smaller colonies

When to see it

Adults emerge in the second half of June, reaching a peak in mid-July. There is one generation each year.

Life History

This butterfly is found in distinct and often large colonies. The main larval foodplants are grasses.

UK Status

Primarily found in the southern half of England and Wales, although its distribution extends as far north as Yorkshire. This butterfly is not found in Scotland or Ireland.

VC55 Status

Common at Ketton Quarry and also found at one or two other sites in Rutland and in the Wigston area. Uncommon or rare in rest of our area, although there are signs that it may be beginning to expand its range.

59.012 BF1620

be our species champion

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map