Gatekeeper


A delightful and quite common little brown and orange butterfly often found near or on brambles.


 

Photograph by: 

In July we see the delightful little gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) butterflies take to the wing. They have a relatively short season and in three weeks or so they are gone for another year.

At first glance the gatekeeper can seem superficially similar to the meadow brown but when at rest and it opens its wings it reveals this brilliant orange that the meadow brown can only dream of! It is also smaller than the meadow brown.

In days gone by this was known as the hedge brown as it is very common along hedgerows, especially around brambles. Its common name is derived from this love of brambles as brambles very often grow around farm gates and clouds of these butterflies can be found in this habitat almost as if is the gate that is the attraction, not the flowers.

In addition to bramble flowers they love wild marjoram and I have seen upwards of fifteen on a single clump of this herb on a sunny day.


 

Common Name Gatekeeper
Scientific Name Pyronia tithonus
Interest Level
1/5
Related Species - CLICK TO VIEW Satyrid Butterflies (Browns)
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