Wingspan: Male 44mm, female 46mm
The uppersides, (which are easily seen as the butterfly often basks open winged in a sunny spot) are orange with darker brown borders. The apex of the forewing sports a white-pupilled black eye-spot. The hindwings also have similar but smaller eye-spots on the lower edge. The underside is a paler orange with an intricate zigzag pattern of greys and browns. The outer edge also shows six eye-spots.
Double-brooded, sometimes triple-brooded. May to mid-June, late July to early October.
Larval Food plants
Tor-grass (Brachypodium pinnatum)
False Brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum)
Wavy Hair-grass (Deschampsia flexuosa)
Yorkshire-fog (Holcus lanatus)
Unimproved open grassland.
Resident, locally scarce to frequent, widespread.
Upton Cow Down
Earliest county record 20th April 2007, Throope Down (Lord Head)
Latest county record
4th November 1990