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Facts on the marbled white butterfly

PUBLISHED: 15:27 14 December 2010 | UPDATED: 17:26 20 February 2013

Facts on the marbled white butterfly

Facts on the marbled white butterfly

...The marbled white butterfly

The marbled white butterfly



  • Adults are seen on the wing from late June, reaching a peak in mid-July and are widespread in southern Britain




  • Is quite conspicuous as it may be the only white object in the grassland habitat it favours




  • Shows a preference for purple flowers such as wild marjoram, field scabious, thistles, pyramidal orchids and knapweeds




  • Its common to see a flower head containing several adults vying for space




  • Early morning is a good time to spot it as it sits with open wings to absorb the suns rays




  • Females dont lay their eggs on a food plant but drop them while perched on a grass stem or while flying in a suitable habitat




  • Its black and white markings distinguish it from all other species found in the British Isles




  • Despite its name this butterfly is more closely related to the sub family of browns




  • Is often seen with small scarlet red parasitic mites attached to its body. These parasites feed on the blood of the living butterfly but in small numbers do not pose a threat




  • Occurs in large numbers on chalk downland with smaller colonies found on road verges, field margins, woodland clearings and
    disused railway lines

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