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ShareMondays2020 – Nymph

Marbled White Macro

ShareMondays2020 – Nymph

What’s in a name? Melangaria galathea, the marbled white, sometimes called the half-mourner or chequered white, is actually a member of the Browns family. They are Satyrinae, a subfamily of the Nymphalidae, brush-footed butterflies. When Carl Linnaeus originally assigned names to the butterflies he had identified, he placed them into families and genus with distinctively Greek and Roman mythological origins. I love thinking of these beautiful insects as nymphs, sylphs and satyrs! It’s so very appropriate.

Marbled White showing mites on body

The name galathea most likely comes from the Nereid, Galatea. One of fifty sea-nymphs of Greek mythology, daughters of Nereus (son of Gaia) and Doris the sea goddess. Galatea means she who is milk-white. The name was also given to the statue of woman by Pygmalion of Cyprus, who came to life in Greek mythology. When roosting, these beautiful butterflies are most certainly statuesque! They are usually found on moist, chalky ground in southern England, were they can gather in large numbers in July. It really is an amazing sight! Another amazing fact about the marbled white is that they are drawn to purple flowers, usually seen feeding on wild oregano, knapweed and thistles.

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#FeelGoodPhotoOfTheDay – Myths And Moths

Six Spot Burnet

#FeelGoodPhotoOfTheDay – Myths And Moths

Myths And Moths

It’s a myth that moths
Only ever fly at night
Colour loves daylight

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#FeelGoodPhotoOfTheDay – Box Hill Butterflies

Box Hill Butterflies

#FeelGoodPhotoOfTheDay – Box Hill Butterflies

Box Hill Butterflies

When my mind wanders
It drifts away to memories
Lost in childhood dreams

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#FeelGoodPhotoOfTheDay – Skipper

Large Skipper

#FeelGoodPhotoOfTheDay – Skipper

Skipper

Skipping through meadows
Golden sprites alight in sight
Wide-eyed with wonder

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#FeelGoodPhotoOfTheDay – The Watcher

The Watcher

#FeelGoodPhotoOfTheDay – The Watcher

The Watcher

Half-mourner morning
Rising up through the knapweed
Watching the watcher

I came across these records by apothecary, botanist and entomologist, James Petiver, while researching the name of the marbled white. I thought they might be of interest! (ref: http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org)

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