Pyronia bathseba

Spanish Gatekeeper

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2016

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Photo: bathseba

Var, France, May 2004

Male with highly visible brown scent scales on the forewing, completely lacking in the female.

Photo: bathseba

Var, France, May 2004

Female.

Field notes and information

A lovely species with very smart underside hindwing markings.

Identification & Similar species: The white stripe on the underside hindwing is distinctive. Orange upperside with broad brown borders. Males have a large and prominent sex brand in the the basal and discal areas.

Distribution & Flight: North Africa, Iberian peninsula and Mediterranean France. April to July. I've found it in early May in south France at sea level and early July in Morocco at 2200m.

Habitat & Behaviour: Grassy rocky places usually amongst dry scrub. Generally skulks low down amongst the entwined twigs and branches of scrub and grasses. I've found it on a beach where the only grasses to be found were amongst low scrub that was stabilising the dunes. Frequently hides from the sun by resting low in bushes or below tufts of grass.

Photo: bathseba

Var, France, May 2004

Photo: bathseba

Burgos, Spain, July 2011

With the gatekeeper P. tithonus.

Photo: bathseba

Middle Atlas, Morocco, June 2005

Much narrower unh white band is normal in North African populations.

Photo: bathsebaPhoto: bathseba

Var, France, May 2004

Photo: bathsebaPhoto: bathseba

Var, France, May 2012

Photo: bathsebaPhoto: bathseba

Almeria, Spain, April 2009

Photo: bathsebaPhoto: bathseba

Montes Universales, Spain, July 2011

Photo: bathseba

Malaga, Spain, July 2013

Photo: bathseba

Almeria, Spain, July 2013