(Linnaeus, 1758) - Egeria
- Subfamily:: Satyrinae - Melanargiini
- Wingspan: 45-55 mm
- Flight period: Jun - Sep
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Poaceae
The Melanargia galathea also known as Marbled White is a medium sized butterfly of the Nymphalidae family, subfamily Satyrinae,
with wingspan of 45-55 mm.
It is distributed throughout Europe with the exception of Portugal, Ireland and Norway. In Italy it is absent from Sardinia. *
The upper side of the wings is decorated with white and gray-black or dark brown markings, the black markings become more intense in the basal and distal areas. The bottom is similar to the top but the designs are light gray or light brown. On the underside of the hind wings there is a row of white and gray pupillated ocelli.
Sexual dimorphism is absent except in those cases where some females may have a yellowish tinge on the underside of the wings. In some females the design of the reverse of the hind wings may be completely missing: form leucomelas. There are local populations characterized by diversity in appearance both for the size of the wings and for the extension of the black pattern. **
Melanargia galathea is found in clearings and forest edges, meadows and steppes where it is found up to 1,500-1,700 m above sea level. Adults can be found from the beginning of June to the beginning of September. ***
The larvae immediately go into hibernation as soon as the eggs hatch and feed only the following spring. They are lime green in color, with a dark green line running down the middle of the back. Pupation occurs at ground level in a loose cocoon.
The host plants are those belonging to the Poaceae, such as Agropyron sp., Bromus sp., Dactylis sp., Festuca sp., Holcus sp., Phleum sp., And Poa sp .. *
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** Farfalle italiane http://www.farfalleitalia.it/
*** Satyrinae of the Western Palearctic - Melanargia galathea