Friday, 24 July 2015

Day 263 - Gorgeously Beautiful Gatekeeper Butterflies

Gatekeeper ( Pyronia tithonus )
Hey everyone today's Day 263 and there is a place just near York which I sometimes go to. This place is called Askham Bog, run by Yorkshire Wildlife Trusts. It is a nice place to visit just away from the 'hussle and bussle' of the city. It's quite near to the York Designer Outlet so when my Mum's shopping there me and my Dad go for a walk around! There are some interesting plants there as well as a variety of Animals Insects such as the Gatekeeper Butterfly.

So, here are the facts:

  • They are confined to England and Wales and they are pretty common there but they are not found in Scotland or Ireland.
  • They have sadly declined since the 1970s. It seems that they have declined by 12% in the last 45 years!
Wings half closed up
  • They live in a range of habitats such as Coastal, Grassland, Heathland, Woodland and Towns and Gardens. They can commonly be found in Hedgerows and even on the side of Country Roads. 
  • They are most common though where tall grasses meet hedges, trees or shrubs. This is probably why you see som many by hedgerows and why they have the common name of Hedge Brown!
  • A way that we could help their numbers is to manage any Hedgerows and Woodland Edges. A couple of ways to do this is just to plant some more hedgerows or help to clear scrubby areas to make them a better environment.
  • They are most common in July and August but they can be found from June into September.
  • The Male has rather small wingspan of just 37mm - 43mm while the Females have a wingspan of 42mm - 48mm.
And fully folded
  • A little bit more Sexual Dimorphism is that they look different. The Male has a Dark Patch on his fore-wing which produces a scent which they mostly use in Courtship Displays.
  • The Larvae are found from late August to late June, the Pupa from Early June to early August and the Imago (butterfly) is most commonly found from late July to August.
  • The adults seem to prefer the foodplants of Bramble and Ragwort but larval foodplants are mainly different types of grasses.
Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. Stunning butterflies, I love that pretty, orange shade on their wings. - Tasha