Photograph of a Gatekeeper
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Hadleigh Railway Walk, Suffolk
Male. 11 July 2011
Photograph of a Gatekeeper
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Magog Down
Male. 15 July 2012
Photograph of a Gatekeeper
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Magog Down
Female. 15 July 2012
Photograph of a Gatekeeper
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Great Yeldham
27 July 2009
Photograph of a Gatekeeper
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Great Yeldham
27 July 2010
Photograph of a Gatekeeper
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Great Yeldham
Female. 27 July 2010
Photograph of a Gatekeeper
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Great Yeldham
Male. 31 July 2010
Photograph of a Gatekeeper
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Great Yeldham
Male. 10 Aug 2011

The Gatekeeper, Pyronia tithonus

The Gatekeeper is one of the commoner species on the uncut paddock next to Roseland House, Great Yeldham.

This species has just one brood per year, with the adults in flight in July and August. In July it mostly takes nectar from Thistles, then after the first week in August it is found in the patch of Water Mint as the flowers open. It is also one of the first butterflies to appear as a dull day brightens up, basking on exposed Bellbine and other plants to warm up. It overwinters as larvae which feed in the autumn and the following spring on various fine grasses.

In 2011, after a hot, dry spring Gatekeeper colours seemed more intense.

Internal links: Home . Butterfly list . Main Gallery . Hadleigh Railway Walk . Magog Down

External links to the Gatekeeper pages at: British Butterflies by Steven Cheshire . UK Butterflies by Peter Eeles
Search menu at Cockayne database for forms and aberrations

Adults in flight: MOST SEEN on ANY ONE DAY in early, mid and late month thirds.
Gatekeeper sightings at Roseland House, Great Yeldham.
March April May June July August Sept
2011 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 11 10 6 2 1 0 0
2012 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 17 10 1 0 0 0
2013 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 19 12 8 3 0 0 0
2014 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Adults in flight: AVERAGE SIGHTINGS PER COUNTING DAY in early, mid and late month thirds.
Gatekeeper sightings at Roseland House, Great Yeldham.         All species
March April May June July August Sept
2011 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.6 6.6 7.1 2.5 0.4 0.1 0 0
2012 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.3 7.3 4.2 0.4 0 0 0
2013 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.6 8.5 9.5 3.9 0.6 0 0 0
2014 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Weather notes:
2011. July - early August very wet.
2012. April - mid July very wet. August to mid September dry.
2013. Winter wet, March and early April, very cold. The rest of the spring was mostly cold. July, mostly very warm. August, warm.
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6 June 2013