Species of the month
Some facts about this butterfly:
Size: 39–47 mm.
Diet: Larvae feed on leaves; adults on nectar.
Life span: About a week.
Habitat: Woodland clearings and flower-rich grasslands.
Surviving number: Unknown, declining in most areas.
First described: By the German entomologist S.A. von Rottemburg in 1775, who originally named it Mellicta athalia.
Melitaea athalia displays an elegantly checkered fashion. It flits across sunny glades and flower-rich meadows, and it needs woodland clearings and grasslands nearby to thrive. Intensive modern agricultural practices are causing this butterfly to decline across its range, especially in Britain and Germany. Efforts to save existing colonies are under way in these countries.
(Archived from Template:Species of the week)