Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus

Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus

July 2017, rear garden, Staffordshire, England.

The Gatekeeper

Pyronia tithonus

Also called the ‘Hedge Brown’, the upper forewing is a rich orange with thick dark brown borders and an eyespot bearing twin highlights (double pupillate). The smaller male has a brown sex brand running diagonally through the centre of the wing. Wingspan 45mm.

The caterpillar feeds on a wide range of grasses.

It flies June to September, and is found in hedgerows, woodland rides and clearings, scrubby grassland, and gardens. The dual common name of this butterfly indicates its common sighting around hedges and field gates. Widespread and common throughout England and Wales, but absent from Scotland and the north of Ireland.