Iberian Marbled White
Melanargia lachesis

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Melanargia lachesis

Aragón, July 2017

Melanargia lachesis

Aragón, July 2017

Melanargia lachesis

Aragón, July 2017

Melanargia lachesis

Aragón, July 2017

Melanargia lachesis

Form cataleuca, Aragón, July 2017

Melanargia lachesis

Form cataleuca, Aragón, July 2017

Spain, July 2011



Spain, July 2011

Spain, July 2011



Languedoc, July 2004

Languedoc, July 2004

Melanargia lachesis distribution

Distribution

The Iberian marbled white replaces the marbled white in Spain, Portugal and the South of France. Like that species, it is a familar and common butterfly of flowery grassland throughout its range, flying in a single brood from June until August. The grassland in question, of course, is not the lush, verdant meadows of milder climes but the dry, prickly prairies of the South. It flies in association with Spanish and southern gatekeepers, Spanish chalkhill blues and false graylings - all species that conjure up the smell of dusty heat.

It is similar in appearance to the marbled white but has considerably less dark at the base of the upperside forewings (the cell is clear at the base) and lacks any dark discal markings on the upperside hindwing - these being reduced to a 'bootstrap' along the lower vein of the cell. Occasionally, the underside hindwing is all white. This is form cataleuca and corresponds to the form leucomelas in marbled white.

The life history is similar to that of marbled whites. The caterpillars feed on various grass species and hibernate while relatively small, completing their development in the spring.