Buddleja Unique Gatekeeper

11 July 2018, by Peter Moore


Feeding on Buddleja Unique   in my garden July 7th 2018

It’s a Gatekeeper, aka ‘Hedge Brown’. Your butterfly is a male, note the oblique brown smudge on the forewing, the androconal scales which release the pheromones to put the females ‘in the mood’. It’s a cousin of the Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Marbled White, Grayling, Speckled Wood, and Small Heath. All their caterpillars feed on grasses overnight, retreating to the ground at dawn. Gatekeepers just emerging; they finish well before the Meadow Browns. As the names suggest, they prefer hedge margins, rather than open ground like the Meadow Brown. Quite common, but had a bad year in 2017 thanks to the weather.

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