Fig 1 Fig 2
ADULT: Wingspan - 37 - 43mm (male); 42 - 48mm (female).  The upperside of both sets of wings have a warm chocolate border, trimmed with white.  The inner parts are bright orange with a black central eyespot with two white inner apical spots.  The male is usually smaller than the female and has a smudgy brown sex brand running diagonally through the centre of the wing as shown in Fig 1.  The hindwings have two tiny eyespots towards the rear corner.  The forewings underside is similar to the upperside and the hindwings underside is brown with brown and grey mottling.  The latter contains several white eyespots. CHRYSALIS: 12mm.  Pale grey brown to cream with nice streaky markings it is hidden away under leaf surfaces or suspended from grasses. LARVA: 25mm.  Light greyish green to pale yellow brown with speckling this hairy caterpillar can be located on couch grass or red fescue.  Nocturnal feeders. EGG: Creamy yellow, spherical and ridged.  Located on various grasses.  Hatching time within 20 days. BEHAVIOUR: For the photographer this species can be a delight on sunny days as its colonies can be quite numerous and both sexes have a tendency to bask with wings opened on full display.  When feeding the gatekeeper readily flits from one flower to another. HABITAT: Hedgerows, country lanes and woodland edges and rides. FLIGHT PERIOD: July - September.

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