ADULT: Wingspan - 26 - 36mm (male); 30 - 40mm (female). The brilliant coppery-orange upper surface of the forewings with the black spots and thick chocolate brown margin make this small gem easily identifiable. The hindwings upperside is brown with a orange submarginal band. Occasionally there is a row of blue dots just inside this band. The underside of the forewing is a paler version of its upperside with the hindwing undersurface being predominantly grey with faint black markings. Towards the outer edge there is a faint orange submarginal line with beyond this a small triangular point or tail projection from the wing edge. CHRYSALIS: 11mm. Pale brown with darker speckling and found within leaf litter or attached to the foodplant. LARVA: 16mm. A pretty combination of green and purple stripes this colourful caterpillar can be found on common or sheep's sorrel or other docks. Totally green specimens can be quite common. EGG: White, looking like squashed golf balls, ridged and found on sorrels and docks. Hatching time within 7 days. BEHAVIOUR: These twitchy little characters live in small colonies near to nectar rich flowers. Males are territorial and both sexes love to perch and bask in high sunlight. All approaching butterflies are readily seen off unless it is a female. HABITAT: Woodland rides, meadows, grassy verges, hillsides and wasteground. FLIGHT PERIOD: April - October in 2 distinct broods with possibly a third in southern regions.
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