Monday, 30 July 2012

Letchmire Pastures butterflies

On a breezy walk around Letchmire Pastures, near Allerton Bywater we found lots of basking Gatekeeper in sheltered spots, this one (above) is a female indicated by the absence of the dark branding of the upper forewing, a defining characteristic of the male (below) which is included for comparison.

A male Meadow Brown basking open winged.

This male Gatekeeper on Ragwort has a deformed hindwing, but seemed to get around OK. The single black dot underneath the double eyespot indicates the male. 


  1. Great photos. I saw lots of Gatekeepers in a Dorset coastal wildflower meadow last week. They seem to have survived better than other butterflies this summer.

  2. More wonderful butterflies! Really helpful, too, to have 'Mr and Mrs Gatekeeper' for comparison/contrast.

  3. Beautiful photos Linda and great to see the contrast between male and female Gatekeepers. I've only seen one so far this year :( but quite a few Meadow Browns.

  4. It's nice to see some fine images of butterflies after such a bad summer. We've had a mini eruption up here, they seem to be trying to make up for lost time although some species are still "missing".

  5. I like that gate keeper... resembles my buckeye b-fly.
    I like those Marbled Whites too... I've got a picture from last November of somebody that looks very similar, the Checkerspot butterfly.

    Gotta question... Don't your butterflies know they're supposed to be perched on flowers?

  6. I so love these butterfy shots; you've done well to get them -as soon as I point my camera at one it flies off! One of the pleasures this time of year is the way Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns accompany my lunch time walks but there seem to be fewer around this year. I guess they've not been helped by our poor weather this year.

  7. Hello DW, yes the Gatekeepers do seem to have done OK despite the bad weather

    Hello Caroline, thanks, I do find it useful to compare the two wing shapes and patterns.

    Hello Caroline, fingers crossed for a few more Gatekeepers for you. I seem to have seen more Gatekeeper and Ringlets than Meadow Brown so far.

    Hi Jonny, thank you, you're right, Ive seen so few Common Blue this year which have been a lot more prevalent in previous years. Fingers crossed for a bit more good weather.

    Hello Gardens in the Sand, thanks for dropping in, those pesky Gatekeepers do like mix things up by basking on bramble foliage. Apparently Gatekeeper have very short proboscis and feed on honeydew secreted by aphids.

    Hi Jerry, thanks very much, yes they've definitely suffered with the bad weather, although the summer butterflies are having a good try to makeup for it.

    Best wishes all


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