Southern Gatekeeper (Pyronia cecilia)

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2016 photographs highlighted in green. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.

2375_male_Var_7Jul06 35515_male_Var_20Jun14 37788_male_Var_18Jun15
34392_female_Var_14Sep13 35569_male_Var_20Jun14 2391_male?_Var_7Jul06
   
23491_female_Var_1Sep10    

Cecilia is superficially quite similar the Gatekeeper (P. tithonus), but there are a number of clear differentiators. The unh are completely different, cecilia being lighter with a clear discal line and no small white ocelli. The female cecilia upperside is extensively orange, especially the uph, and there is no ocellus at the anal angle; the forewings are convex (tithonus is slightly concave) and the upperside margins are whiter.

In the male, the cecilia uph orange is also more extensive, but the key is that the upf brown androconial patch is transected by the orange veins. Cecilia is generally smaller and rounder, and is generally a butterfly of the hotter regions even though it seems to spend most of its time trying to escape the intense heat by staying in the shade of the undergrowth.
ref sex

observations

alt. m
2375 M

a typical male, the orange veins clearly transecting the brown area of forewing cell.

60
35515 M the upperside of 35569. 20
37788 M a male, that was on damp ground, although it did not appear to be taking salts. 20
34392 F a female, rather battered at the end of the flight period, but at least it shows the extent of the orange patches and affords a direct comparison with the male. 30
35569 M a male underside, nice and fresh at the start of the flight period. 35515 is the upperside. 20
2391 M

a male(?), based on the markings and limited hindwing scalloping (c.f. 23491), and the hindwing shape.

60
23491 F

a female, as indicated by the roundness of the hindwing at the anal angle and the degree of scalloping (c.f. 2391), and because the upperside was seen.

30

 

2375_male_Var_7Jul06

 

35515_male_Var_20Jun14

 

37788_male_Var_18Jun15

 

34392_female_Var_14Sep13

 

35569_male_Var_20Jun14

 

2391_male?_Var_7Jul06

 

23491_female_Var_1Sep10