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Butterflies of Europe
Balkan Marbled White
Melanargia larissa  GEYER, 1828
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
Tribe - SATYRINI
subtribe - MELANARGIINA
Balkan Marbled White Melanargia larissa Velebit mountains, Croatia Peter Bruce-Jones
Introduction
There are 24 species in the genus Melanargia, known commonly as the Marbled Whites. One of the most widespread and common species is the common Marbled White M. galathea which is found across most of Europe but is absent from eastern Asia, except for Japan, where it's presence is unexplained. Another very widespread species is Esper's Marbled White M. russiae, which has a range stretching from Spain to Siberia.
The genus is readily recognised by virtue of the black-on-white marbled uppersides, and the series of submarginal ocelli on the underside hindwings. Both sexes are similar in pattern, but males are a purer white. Females are slightly creamy in appearance, especially when freshly emerged, and are patterned in dark brown rather than the neutral black of males.
Melanargia larissa is found in Croatia, Serbia, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey and northern Iran.
Habitats
This species is found on dry grassland, scrubby hillsides, and grassy woodland glades where flowers are prolific. It occurs at elevations between sea level and about 1900m.
Lifecycle
The larval foodplants are unspecified grasses.
Adult behaviour

Both sexes nectar avidly at flowers, showing a particular preference for the pink flowers of Cirsium, Carduus and Centaurea ( Asteraceae ).

 

 

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