The Caucasus Marbled White Butterfly (Melanargia galathea donsa) is a medium-sized insect in the Nymphalidae family of butterflies. It is also known as Our Half-Mourner Butterfly and the Marmoris Butterfly.
The Caucasus Marbled White is white with grey-black markings on its upperside. The underside of its hindwings (back wings) has grey eye-spots. The male and female are similar, except that some females have a yellowish underside. Its body is greyish and fluffy. It has long, black, clubbed antennae and large eyes.
It has a wingspan of about 5 centimetres (2 inches).
The Marbled White (Melanargia galathea) is found across most of Europe, southern Russia, Asia, and the Middle East. The sub-species Caucasus Marbled White (Melanargia galathea donsa) is found in the Caucasus region, in Georgia, Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
It prefers forest clearings, meadows, and grasslands, usually in low mountain areas.
Its life cycle is egg, larva (caterpillar), chrysalis, and adult butterfly.
The female lays eggs while she is in flight, and the eggs are sprinkled amongst the grass. When the eggs hatch, the caterpillar immediately goes into hibernation and only feeds the next spring when there is fresh plant growth. The caterpillar then feeds on leaves. It pupates by forming a chrysalis. The adult butterfly emerges from the chrysalis from early June to early September. This transformation is called metamorphosis. The adult butterfly feeds on nectar from flowers.
Location of photographs: Udabno, Georgia
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM