Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus


The Gatekeeper is a widespread and common butterfly in the southern half of Britain and has extended its range northwards during recent years. If frequents lanes and hedgerows, woodland rides and scrubby downland and heaths where tall grasses occur.


The Gatekeeper may be confused with the duller Meadow Brown, but is distinguished by the notably brighter colouring with distinctive orange and chocolate patterning on both wings, its twin white dots in the eye spots of the forewings, and the uneven line of white spots on the underside hindwing. The male has a bold dark scent brand across each forewing.

Flight times

The Gatekeeper has a single brood, flying between mid-July and late August.

Food plants

Eggs are laid or dropped among grasses including Cock's-foot, Common Couch and meadow grasses.

Gatekeeper - © Simon Jenkins

Distribution Maps

Gatekeeper distribution map 2005-09
Gatekeeper distribution map 2010-14
Gatekeeper distribution map 2015-19
Gatekeeper distribution map 2015
2015 Summary
No of tetrads 846
First sighting 20/06/2015
Last sighting 25/10/2015
Gatekeeper distribution map 2016
2016 Summary
No of tetrads 651
First sighting 20/06/2016
Last sighting 23/09/2016
Gatekeeper distribution map 2017
2017 Summary
No of tetrads 676
First sighting 04/06/2017
Last sighting 21/09/2017
Gatekeeper distribution map 2018
2018 Summary
No of tetrads 776
First sighting 02/06/2018
Last sighting 31/08/2018
Gatekeeper distribution map 2019
2019 Summary
No of tetrads 965
First sighting 15/05/2019
Last sighting 18/09/2019
Gatekeeper distribution map 2020
2020 Summary
No of tetrads 958
First sighting 08/04/2020
Last sighting 29/09/2020
Gatekeeper distribution map 2021
2021 Summary
No of tetrads 860
First sighting 06/06/2021
Last sighting 26/09/2021
Gatekeeper distribution map 2022
2022 Summary
No of tetrads 703
First sighting 14/05/2022
Last sighting 21/09/2022

Photo Gallery