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Pyronia tithonus


The Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) sometimes called the Hedge Brown is a common butterfly in the United Kingdom. It is a member of the subfamily Satyrinae in the family NymphalidaeA similar species is the Meadow Brown; the two species can be difficult to distinguish with closed wings since underwing markings are very similar. However, the Gatekeeper tends to rest with its wings open, whereas the Meadow Brown usually rests with its wings closed. The Gatekeeper is also smaller and more orange than the Meadow Brown and has double pupils on its eyespots The Gatekeeper, like many Satyrinae, exhibit sexual dimorphism. The male has a dark patch on the upper side of the forewing. This is an area of scent-producing scales known as the androconia.


Two similar species of Pyronia are found in southern Europe, the Southern Gatekeeper (P. cecilia) and the Spanish Gatekeeper (P. bathsheba). Food Plants Larval Foodplants The primary larval foodplants are Bents (various) (Agrostis spp.), Fescues (various) (Festuca spp.) and Meadow-grasses (various) (Poa spp.). Common Couch (Elymus repens) is also used. Nectar Sources Adults feed primarily on Bramble (Rubus fruticosus agg.), Carline Thistle (Carlina vulgaris), Devil's-bit Scabious (Succisa pratensis), Fleabane (Pulicaria_dysenterica), Hemp Agrimony(Eupatorium cannabinum), Wild Privet (Ligustrum vulgare), Ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris), Red Clover (Trifolium patense), Thistles (Cirsium spp. and Carduus spp.), Thyme (Thymus praecox) and Water Mint (Mentha aquatica).


spotted in PNPGerês,in the mountain

1 Species ID Suggestions

Simone E.
Simone E. 8 years ago
Pyronia tithonus Gatekeeper (butterfly)

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Hema 8 years ago

beautiful coloration!

thanks so much Simone for the id

Simone E.
Simone E. 8 years ago

As far as I can figure this out on the photos, the butterfly has a big black dot with two little white dots on the bottom side of it's wings. I guess this is Pyronia tithonus, which is very common in South-Europe


Spotted on Aug 22, 2012
Submitted on Aug 26, 2012

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