Levantine Marbled White Butterfly

Melanargia titea butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Hermon, Israel

A white adorned butterfly with ‘eyes’ on its hindwings. Melanargia titea is a very purposeful butterfly that flies in gets whatever nectar it can get, and leaves. Cats and dogs have distinct personalities. They interact with us in mostly predictable ways. I find this to be true for butterflies. Years in the field have enabled me to expect certain minimal, but discernible interactions with most butterflies. The Monarch butterfly that turned to look  at me, the Mourning cloak butterfly that caused me to tear up, the jolly little duskywings that escort you down the trails you hike…. I find Levantine marbled whites to be very aloof and business-like. Come, nectar, go. Unlike the female tiger swallowtails that will tolerate my presence, with some ‘complaint,’ as they work the wildflowers.

This one was on the top of Israel’s Mt. Hermon (2008) when there was unseen military presence, and Eran, my guide and I roamed the mountain top, encountering lots of butterflies, grazing cows, shy lizards, eagles…and 1 ugly, old land mine.

Levantine marbled whites are found throughout the northern half of Israel. This satyr-type of butterfly flies from April to August. It’s host plants are native grasses.

Boy do I wish I could get back up on Mt. Hermon….

Jeff

 

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  1. Pingback: Dandelions and a Butterfly Blog # 17 | emilykarn

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