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Melanargia galathea

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 7 September 2012 in Animal & Insect and Portfolio.

Melanargia galathea (NL: Dambordje / EN: Marbled White / DE: Schachbrett, Damenbrett / FR: Demi-deuil, Échiquier, 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. An image displaying the upperside of the wings can be seen here.
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: Soglio (CH) – 12/07/2012

Canon EOS 400D 1/500 second F/5.6 ISO 200 150 mm

© Johan Dierckx

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dang from Atlanta, United States

Always perfect!

7 Sep 2012 5:54am

omid from mashhad, Iran

very nice!!!!
so beautiful colors & lights!!!
L O V E L Y !!!

7 Sep 2012 7:03am

L'Angevine from Angers, France

j'apprécie la teinte

7 Sep 2012 8:04am

crazy Steve from caln township, Pennsylvania, United States

A bright and colorful image with a very descriptive narrative...thanx for sharing.

8 Sep 2012 1:22am

Canon EOS 400D
1/500 second
ISO 200
150 mm