Out walking today near Madrid I saw lots of Iberian Marbled Whites basking and feeding. But I was struck by a dwarf butterfly amongst the other normal sized specimens.
Here is what I consider the normal size butterfly
and here (same focal length, same focus distance to allow immediate comparison) is the dwarf.
I measured the wingspan as 70% of the bigger butterfly, making the wing area only 50%. I was under the impression that butterflies of the same species do not normally vary in size (though one of my guides does remark on a slight difference for one species - I forget which - between those in the far north of Europe and those in the far south).
So is my preconception wrong or is this very unusual?
Thanks. I've seen photos on the web of butterflies with left and right wings different (though I think they were of different species not gender) but I've not seen that in the wild yet. This size difference was so striking it sort of hit me in the face - our fields are full of these butterflies at present and great banded graylings, and almost nothing else so the normal specimen is well imprinted on my sub-conscious.