Use our online form.

Use our online form.
Butterfly Conservation Warwickshire - Branch Logo featuring the White-letter Hairstreak butterfly.Butterfly Conservation.

Butterflies - Marbled White (Melanargia galathea)

The Marbled White is one of our most distinctive butterflies and is unique in terms of its colouration and wing pattern. It is an attractive black and white butterfly which is unlikely to be mistaken for any other species. Its is commonly encountered in grassy meadows and will often feed on purple flowers such as Knapweed, Thisles, Scabious and Marjoram.

Adult butterflies may be found roosting halfway down tall grass stems although they are well camouflaged.

  • Larval Food Plants
  • Habitat
  • Status
  • Key Sites
  • Links
  • Photographs

The full range of larval food plants is not known as the larvae of the Marbled White feed on a wide variety of grasses. This is primarily because the adult female butterflies do not lay their eggs directly onto the larval food plant. Instead they drop the small white, circular eggs as they flutter through tall grass.

Red Fescue (Festuca rubra)
Sheep's-fescue (Festuca ovina)
Yorkshire-fog (Holcus lanatus)
Tor-grass (Brachypodium pinnatum)

The Marbled White occurs as discrete colonies on unimproved grassland where a wide range of grass species, especially Red Fescue occurs, forming a tall sward that is rarely cut or grazed.

Resident in Warwickshire.

Ufton Fields (WWT Reserve)
Ashlawn Cutting (WWT Reserve)
Grove Hill (WWT Reserve)
Harbury Spoilbank (WWT Reserve)
Snitterfield Bushes (WWT Reserve)
Stockton Cutting (WWT Reserve)
Henley Sidings (WWT Reserve)
Knowle Hill (WWT Reserve)

Find out more about the Marbled White online at the following links;

Flight Chart
The flight chart below is based on observations of the adult Marbled White butterfly in Warwickshire between 2005 and 2008. Peak periods are shown in dark green.

Marbled White Flight Chart

Distribution Maps

Marbled White - 2011 records / distribution. Marbled White - 2010 records / distribution. Marbled White - 2000 to 2009 records / distribution.
2011 (1yr) 2010 (1yr) 2000-09 (10yr)

Marbled WhiteMarbled White © Steven Cheshire

Annual First Sightings
First sighting dates are based on records of Marbled White submitted online. Please note that these dates are not updated retrospectively to include records submitted to the branch recorder in other forms.

11/06/2018 Southam Bypass North

07/06/2017 Studley Common NR

21/06/2016 Bishops Hill

10/06/2015 Ryton Island

13/06/2014 B4035 Knowlands Farm

03/07/2013 Stamford Hall

23/06/2012 DMC Kineton

11/06/2011 Bishops Hill / Ashlawn Cutting Rugb

16/06/2010 Southam Quarry

14/06/2009 Fossedene Meadow & Coombe Farm

11/06/2008 Southam Quarry

08/06/2007 Southam Quarry

Other Species

Please select an alternative species from the list below.