A male Marbled White basking on yellow wort. © Steven Cheshire - 2021.
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. It 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.
The Marbled White occurs as discrete colonies on unimproved grassland where a wide range of grass species, especially where Red Fescue occurs, forming a tall sward that is rarely cut or grazed.
The range of larval foodplants is not fully 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 larvalfood plant. Instead they drop the small white, circular eggs as they flutter through tall grass.
Larval foodplants include Red Fescue (Festuca rubra), Sheep's Fescue (Festuca ovina), Yorkshire-fog (Holcus lanatus) and Tor-grass (Brachypodium pinnatum).
The Marbled White can be found...######