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Melanargia galathea

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 23 October 2011 in Animal & Insect and Portfolio.

Melanargia galathea (NL: Dambordje / EN: Marbled White / DE: Schachbrett, Damenbrett / FR: Demi-deuil, Échiquier commun, Arge galathée) is a butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. Its very distinctive chequered black and white pattern is quite different to that of most other Satyrines, which tend to be patterned in shades of brown and orange. The pattern is easily remembered by insectivorous birds, and is probably a form of aposematic (warning) coloration, which functions to advertise the toxic nature of the butterfly. The sexes can be distinguished by examining the dark peppered bands on the underside - in the male these are a neutral grey colour, while in the female they are a warm greyish brown. Neither sex is prone to much in the way of variation, although entirely black or entirely white forms are known, but these and intermediate forms are exceptionally rare. This species is distributed across much of Europe, but is absent from Portugal, most of Spain, most of the Mediterranean islands, and Scandinavia. Beyond Europe it occurs in northern Africa, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Image: Val Bregaglia (CH) - 20/07/2011

Canon EOS 400D 1/250 second F/5.6 ISO 200 150 mm

© Johan Dierckx

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All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.

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Tinx from Kuressaare, Estonia


23 Oct 2011 8:04am

Aubélia from Kortrijk, Belgium

Prachtig !

23 Oct 2011 8:28am

Lia from Zwolle, Netherlands

Prachtige foto, mooi belicht en goed scherp.
Knap gedaan, want bij mij willen die dambordjes nooit stilzitten.

23 Oct 2011 10:44am

Jaytee from Fresno, California, United States


23 Oct 2011 3:14pm

Canon EOS 400D
1/250 second
ISO 200
150 mm