Green-striped White

Euchloe belemia


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Euchloe belemia

Málaga, April 2019

Euchloe belemia

Málaga, April 2019

Euchloe belemia

Málaga, April 2019

Euchloe belemia

Málaga, February 2017

Euchloe belemia

Málaga, February 2017



Euchloe belemia

Málaga, February 2007



Málaga, March 2011



Málaga, March 2011



Ronda, March 2011

Málaga, February 2007

Málaga, February 2007

Málaga, February 2007

Málaga, February 2007

Gibraltar, 1983

Euchloe belemia distribution

Distribution

After I left school I spent a year in Gibraltar. This species was a defining butterfly from that period of my life and so has special significance for me. Since then I have seen it early in the year on occasional trips to Málaga and elsewhere in southern Spain and it still manages to hold its magic. It is only found in Spain and Portugal, and only really in the first half of the year, but is generally common where it flies. Like many of its cogeners, though, it is flighty and difficult to catch settled for a photo!

Given a good view, the Green-striped white is impossible to confuse with any other mainland European butterfly. The tiger stripes on the underside, perfectly matching the pattern of the milk thistle on which it often settles, are absolutely distinctive. They show through to the upperside too, though very faintly - a useful thing to look for when close approach to a settled butterfly is impossible. The wings also always look more pointy to me than those of western dappled white, with which it often flies, and it is typically a slightly smaller insect.

What used to be considered the Canary Island subspecies of this butterfly, E. belemia hesperidum, is now considered a distinct species, E. hesperidum. It is very similar but there is no distributional overlap. In North Africa another green-striped white flies, E. falloui, the scarce green-striped white. This has a smaller discoidal spot, especially in the male, clearly separated from the costa and lacking the white centre of green-striped white.

Green-striped whites are bivoltine, flying from February to early June. The larvae feed on Biscutella laevigata and other Brassicaceae. It hibernates as a pupa.