Marbled White Butterfly
The Marbled White's black and white markings distinguish it from all other UK species. It is a regular visitor to the Gardens, despite being comparatively uncommon in Eastern England. It lives in distinct and often quite large colonies.
An early July morning is probably the best time to see the Marbled White, as it warms up its wings by holding them open to absorb the sun's rays. It is usually spotted
flying in areas of tall, wild grassland and has a marked preference for purple flowers such as Wild Marjoram, Field Scabious, thistles, and knapweeds, although it will also feed on clovers and Yarrow. When the weather is dull, and at night, the adults roost halfway down tall grass stems.
Red Fescue grass (Festuca rubra) is thought to be essential in the caterpillar's diet, but other grasses such as Sheep's-fescue, Yorkshire-fog, and Tor-grass are also eaten.
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Over the centuries the Marbled White's striking colouring has earned it many interesting names (several of them associated with mourning) including: Our Half-Mourner, Marmoris, Marbled Argus and Marbled-White Half Mourner.