A brown and yellow butterfly with some black and white markings

Gatekeeper ab. Photo: David Parish

David sent us this photo of a Gatekeeper he saw in his Bournemouth garden yesterday, 03/08/2023 commenting as follows:

This Gatekeeper looked so different from the rest in flight and I was able to get this photo when it settled. Probably just a worn example as the pale markings are not symmetrical, but the question remains – why is it different from all the others I have seen?

Editor’s Note:  When I received this photo I decided to refer it to Mark Pike for guidance as he has a considerable knowledge of butterfly aberrations and he responded saying:

Variation among Gatekeepers is pretty common, I have seen quite a few similar to this one in most years, some with just one pale wing. It is an ab but an unnamed one, probably because they vary so much and are not distinct. Always good to find something out of the ordinary though.

My thanks to Mark for his advice.

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