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East Midlands Branch Butterfly Conservation

Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus


The Gatekeeper is a widespread and common butterfly in the southern half of Britain and has extended its range northwards during recent years. If frequents lanes and hedgerows, woodland rides and scrubby downland and heaths where tall grasses occur.


The Gatekeeper may be confused with the duller Meadow Brown, but is distinguished by the notably brighter colouring with distinctive orange and chocolate patterning on both wings, its twin white dots in the eye spots of the forewings, and the uneven line of white spots on the underside hindwing. The male has a bold dark scent brand across each forewing.

Flight times

The Gatekeeper has a single brood, flying between mid-July and late August.

Food plants

Eggs are laid or dropped among grasses including Cock's-foot, Common Couch and meadow grasses.

Gatekeeper - © Simon Jenkins  picture of Gatekeeper butterfly

Distribution Maps for the East Midlands Region

Gatekeeper distribution map 2010
2010 Summary
No of tetrads 385
First sighting 31/05/2010
Last sighting 02/09/2010
Gatekeeper distribution map 2011
2011 Summary
No of tetrads 490
First sighting 17/06/2011
Last sighting 27/11/2011
Gatekeeper distribution map 2012
2012 Summary
No of tetrads 375
First sighting 03/07/2012
Last sighting 16/09/2012
Gatekeeper distribution map 2013
2013 Summary
No of tetrads 566
First sighting 05/06/2013
Last sighting 04/09/2013
Gatekeeper distribution map 2014
2014 Summary
No of tetrads 684
First sighting 06/04/2014
Last sighting 10/09/2014
Gatekeeper distribution map 2015
2015 Summary
No of tetrads 846
First sighting 20/06/2015
Last sighting 25/10/2015
Gatekeeper distribution map 2005-09

Combined records for the five year period 2005-09

Gatekeeper distribution map 2010-14

Combined records for the five year period 2010-14

Comparison of years 2005-09 & 2010-14

No Data


Photo Gallery


Gatekeeper © Simon Jenkins


Gatekeeper © Simon Jenkins


Gatekeeper - female © Christine Maughan


Gatekeeper - male © Christine Maughan

Gatekeeper Gatekeeper Gatekeeper Gatekeeper
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