Wingspan 40m. The fore-wings are dark grey with a crimson band just behind the front edge and two crimson spots on the hind edge. The under-wings are crimson with a dark grey border. Superficially similar to burnets, but flight is weak and flappy, like a butterfly, whilst burnets are stronger, more direct fliers, like bees. Flies by day as well as at night.
Grassy areas, often waste-ground or road verges where ragwort grows. The caterpillar feeds on ragwort, assimilating its poison.
Status and distribution
Common and widespread in southern England and Wales. Less common in northern England and Scotland. Common in Nottinghamshire and at Netherfield Lagoons.
Best time to see
May to August.