ADULT: Wingspan - 45 - 53mm. A butterfly on the decrease and one that is always a welcome sight on any walk. With an orange ground colour to the wings, thick dark brown edges trimmed with off-white, a wide brownish crossband on the forewing as well as a black eye spot with white pupil, this busy flutterer is quite unmistakeable. The hindwing is slightly scalloped and has several eyespots just above the dark brown edging. The undersides of the wings are similar to above but duller with the hindwing of a greyish-brown colour. CHRYSALIS: Green and found hanging from foodplant. This stage lasts for approximately 2 weeks. LARVA: A green caterpillar with a white stripe along each side. Feeds at night on a variety of grasses and becomes more mobile as they mature. EGG: Pale green becoming more translucent laid singly or in groups of two or three. BEHAVIOUR: A busy species that can be difficult to get near especially on sunny days. They bask with wings outstretched on bare ground or stone walls. Males patrol back and forth over a specific area looking out for females. HABITAT: Coastal areas, unimproved grassland, wasteland, cliff edges and hedgerows. FLIGHT PERIOD: Early May to early June and a second brood July to August.
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