Wingspan 42 - 52mm. The upper-wings are dark brown, with the undersides slightly lighter. There is a narrow white margin around the outside of the wings. The upper-wings have indistinct rings but the under-wings have a series of bold pale rings, with dark centres and a white central spot. Males tend to be smaller and darker than females. Best distinguished in flight from the Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper by the absence of orange and the white wing margin.
Woodland glades and damp, lush grasslands and hedgerows. The caterpillars feed on grasses. The adults feed on nectar from a wide range of flowers.
Status and distribution
Common and widespread throughout most of Britain, more restricted in Scotland. Common in Nottinghamshire and at Netherfield Lagoons.
Best time to see
June to August.