Wingspan 40 - 60mm. They are a soft, velvety brown on the upper-wings, with an eye-spot towards the corner of the fore-wing. There is a patch of orange on the fore-wings, larger and more conspicuous in the female than the male. The underside of the fore-wing is orange with a strong eye-spot and the hind-wing is banded, dark and light brown. The eye-spots have a single white spot at their centres.
This is mainly a grassland species and can be found in meadows, woodland edge and rides, brown-field sites and roadside verges. The caterpillars feed on grasses.
Status and distribution
Common and widespread in Britain. Common in Nottinghamshire and at Netherfield Lagoons.
Best time to see
June to September in one brood.