Melanargia pherusa

Sicilian Marbled White

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2016

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Photo: pherusa

Sicily, May 2000

Captured from video.

Photo: pherusa

Sicily, May 2000

Captured from video.

Field notes and information

An endemic on Sicily. It was formerly considered a subspecies of the western marbled white M. occitanica. It may be an evolutionary intermediate between the western and the Italian marbled whites, M. occitanica & M. arge as it shows intermediate features of both species and the range is between the two species (Spain and main land Italy).

Identification & Similar species: The underside hindwing markings are fine and pale brown allowing it to be readily separated from other species of Melanargia on the island.

Distribution & Flight: Endemic to Sicily south of Palermo where it is very local. It flies in May and June.

Habitat & Behaviour: Open hills and slopes dominated by grasses. As all Melanargia it is strongly attracted to flowers.