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Considering the Marbled white butterfly (Melanargia galathea) thrives in tall grasses, growing in calcareous unimproved grasslands, in woodland clearings and rides, in disused quarries and roadside verges, I always expect to find them in my part of south Wales. But they are rare here, my very occasional sightings consisting of rapid fly-bys and distant record-only photos like the one below.

210724 marbled white (1)

So, getting close views of this beauty during my trip to Slade Woods last week was a lovely surprise, not from within the woodland itself, but rather at the edge of a farmland footpath on my way back to the train.

210724 marbled white (2)

Though it may seem difficult to believe when you look at its colouring, the Marbled white butterfly is a member of the ‘brown’ group of butterflies that also includes those that are recognisably brown (Speckled wood, Meadow brown, Ringlet, etc).