Gatekeeper butterfly at Kelling Heath by Bob Carpenter 1/8
Gatekeeper butterfly at Hickling Broad by David Thacker 2/8
Gatekeeper butterfly at NWT Cley by Elizabeth Dack 3/8
Gatekeeper butterfly at NWT Cley by Elizabeth Dack 4/8
Gatekeeper butterfly at Trinity Broad by Paul Taylor 5/8
Gatekeeper butterfly at Hickling Broad by David Thacker 6/8
Gatekeeper butterfly at NWT Weeting Heath by Elizabeth Dack 7/8
Gatekeeper butterfly by Bob Carpenter 8/8

Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus

The gatekeeper (also known as the hedge brown) is a widespread and common butterfly in Norfolk and Southern Britain generally. As its name suggests, it is likely to be seen along hedgerows as well as open woodland. It is probably one of the most common butterflies of the countryside in late summer.

Conservation status

Unlike many other species, its population has remained stable over the last 40 years or so. Inevitably the population trend has been downwards with a fall of 12% between 1976-2004 (The State of Butterflies in Britain and Ireland – 2006). Norfolk Butterfly Conservation reported that it was in 78-100% of surveyed Norfolk 1km squares from 2007-2010 (30 Years of Norfolk Butterflies).

Details

Did you know? Historically the species was recorded as “The lesser double-ey’d butterfly” and “The hedge-eye with double specks”.

The caterpillar grows very slowly; it feeds up after hatching in the autumn before hibernating in clumps of grass and then feeding again the following spring.
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