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Gatekeeper, Lobito agreste

Pyronia tithonus

Description:

The name "Gatekeeper" may refer to its frequent occurrence near field gates and to the man who was responsible for the toll gates in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when butterflies were more numerous than they are today. As indicated by its alternate name, the gatekeeper butterfly prefers the habitat of meadow margins and hedges.he adults are often found round blackberry plants. The adult butterflies have a quite short proboscis and the flowers of the blackberry being quite shallow provide an excellent nectar source. Males have a dark patch of scent scales in the middle of the forewing for courtship purposes except in very old individuals. This dark patch is clearly visible in the male Gatekeeper. The characteristic eyespots on the forewing probably deflect bird attacks away from the butterfly's body rather than startle away predators; the Gatekeeper likes to rest with its wings open and the eyespots visible.

Habitat:

By a pedestrian path in an area with meadows and small oak forests.

Notes:

Camera Model: NIKON D300. Exposure Time: 1/640 sec.; f/13; ISO Speed Rating: 800. Focal Length: 300.0 mm.

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arlanda
Spotted by
arlanda

O Saviñao, Galicia, Spain

Spotted on Aug 8, 2012
Submitted on Sep 21, 2012

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