Gatekeeper Butterfly

This is a photograph of a lovely male Gatekeeper butterfly, also known as the Hedge Brown (latin name: Pyronia tithonus). I was really pleased that he let me get pretty close – in fact, he fluttered around my head a few times inbetween resting on this ragwort – one of its favourite plants.

Widespread in Southern Britain, these pretty golden-brown butterflies get their common names from their usual habitat of flower clumps near gateways, and hedgerows.

I managed to take a few photographs of butterflies yesterday – helped by the overcast sky I think as they are a little less active on a cloudy day. I chose this photograph to post, however, because of the interesting shape of his wings – he was just about to close them as I clicked the shutter.

References:

http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species.php?species=tithonus

http://www.butterfly-conservation.org/Butterfly/32/Butterfly.html?ButterflyId=22

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22 thoughts on “Gatekeeper Butterfly

  1. Beautiful composition. Wonderful texture on the butterfly wings. This summer there seems to be fewer butterflies, but more large grasshoppers. I don’t know i it is a small blip or a sign of environmental change.

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    • Thank you elmediat. I wonder whether it’s the same here. There seems to be fewer butterflies in the garden – and the village generally, although there seem to be lots along field edges and in meadows. This might be skewed, however, as I’m walking more in these places this year. There are certainly LOTS of large grasshoppers around – and hoverflies are more abundant this year than I’ve ever seen them. It certainly makes one wonder about environmental change.

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    • Wow – thanks so much Lu! I’m really chuffed that you”ve chosen me as one of your nominees 🙂 Gosh – I’m going to have to have a good think about which posts to choose to highlight – but it’s going to be a lot of fun. Thanks again Lu – I appreciate it.

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  2. Beautiful…I love the color of the flower and the butterly together, reminds me of the sunflowers around here. I worked for a long time to get a shot of a butterfly. It keep moving. I’ll have to try an overcast day as you suggest. Maybe it will make a difference.

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    • Thank you Jeanne. Yes – try on an overcast day; they do seem a little less active then. I managed to get another shot of a Gatekeeper on Saturday whilst out and it was overcast again. What made me smile though, was the fact that it was sitting right next to a gate!

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