The Gatekeeper butterfly has orange-brown wings. Near the edge of the forewing is a black spot containing 2 white pupils. The underside of the hindwing has white-centered spots.
months seen in my garden: July and August
garden plants that attract this species:
first sighting at Badbury Rings, Dorset on 13 July
Gatekeeper (female) in Overley Woods, 16 July
Gatekeeper on Verbena bonariensis, 21 July
Mating pair of Gatekeepers on Field Scabious, 28 July
female Gatekeeper on Field Scabious, 31 July
Gatekeepers on Ragwort, 31 July
Female and male Gatekeepers on Ragwort, 31 July
Gatekeeper, 1 August
Gatekeepers on Marjoram and Field Scabious, 2 August
Gatekeepers on Marjoram, 4 August
Seen at Barrow Wake, 18 August
Gatekeeper on Thistle, Cirencester Park, 20 August
14 and 21 August - I was in hospital from 15 July for 4 months, so I missed most of the Gatekeeper butterflies in my garden but saw a few when I was let out on breaks from chemotherapy.
I had 33 digital images saved from 2003.
On Field Scabious. July 30.
Side view. On Field Scabious.
Note the twin pupils in the eyespot; the Meadow Brown has a single white pupil.
Female. Top view. On Marjoram. July 27.
Female. Top view. On Field Scabious. July 30.
Male. Top view. On Marjoram.
The male has a prominent sex-brand on the upperside of the forewing.
Mating pair. July 27.
I've found Gatekeepers mating in my garden once in Cirencester and once in my previous garden in Wiltshire.
Side view. On Field Scabious. July 27.
Size: 40-47mm (slightly smaller than Small White - see list of butterflies by size)
First Generation flight period: July-September
Larval Food Plants: Grasses
Wild Nectar Plants: Field Scabious, Ragwort, Yarrow
Family Group: Satyridae- see list of butterflies by family