23rd July 2016

Meadow Brown: It can be hard to tell the Meadow Brown from the Gatekeeper– as you’ll see from the sequence, even they find it hard, with this Gatekeeper trying to mate with a Meadow Brown and being rebuffed. Here are photos that show the most obvious difference- both male and female Meadow Browns have one white ‘pupil’ in the black ‘eye’, while Gatekeepers have two. More on the difference between male and female Meadow Browns soon. Conditions: Cloudier and cooler but still no rain. Temperature: Max 24- Min 17C.

Meadow Brown feeding on Bramble

Meadow Brown feeding on Bramble

Gatekeeper feeding on bramble

Gatekeeper feeding on bramble

Meadow Brown approached by Gatekeeper

Meadow Brown approached by Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper attempting to mate with Meadow Brown

Gatekeeper attempting to mate with Meadow Brown

Gatekeeper realises its mistake

Gatekeeper realises its mistake

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21st July 2016

Gatekeeper Butterfly- a shortage of insects around but this butterfly was out in numbers in Sussex this week. The Gatekeeper is spreading its territory further northwards- we get it in Sheffield sometimes. A dimorphous butterfly (male and female differ), the male has a dark brown half-crescent on the forewing. This is a scent brand, which gives off pheromones to attract the female. Easy to distinguish from other Browns by the two white

Gatekeeper at rest

Gatekeeper at rest

‘pupil’ dots in the eye. Named the Gatekeeper as the grasses, favoured by the caterpillars and wild flowers like bramble enjoyed by the adults, tend to get left by gateways, even if the fields are in crop or are cropped by stock. Conditions: Cooler and cloudier. Temperature: Max 23- Min 17 C.

Male Gatekeeper

Male Gatekeeper- they often bask with open wings

Female Gatekeeper- still two white dots but less brown marking on the forewing than the male.

Female Gatekeeper- still two white dots but less brown marking on the forewing than the male.