Gatekeeper on yellow flowers (c) Brian Kirby

Gatekeeper butterfly

Gatekeeper butterflies take to the wing in the height of summer when blackberry flowers are at their best. The nectar provides a valuable food source for these butterflies, which are commonly found around hedgerows and field gates, giving a clue to the origin of their common names: gatekeeper and hedge brown. The males have a dark brown patch of scent-producing scales on the forewing, used to attract females during courtship. Gatekeepers are common and widespread in Europe, and the British Isles has its own subspecies (britanniae).

How to identify common garden butterflies.

Scientific name: Pyronia tithonus

Rank: Species

Common names:

Hedge brown

Watch video clips from past programmes (1 clip)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.

Distribution

The Gatekeeper butterfly can be found in a number of locations including: Europe, United Kingdom. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Habitats

The following habitats are found across the Gatekeeper butterfly distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Elsewhere on the BBC