This butterfly has a dark chocolate-brown ground colour on the upper side with cream blotches. The forewing has a single eyespot near the wingtip, whilst the hindwing has three or four. Females are larger than the males and have larger cream patches. Wingspan 48mm.
The caterpillars feed on a wide range of grasses, including Cock’s-foot and False Brome.
It flies March to October, with two or three broods in the south, and one in the north. Found in woodland rides and clearings. Common and resident.
This is the only British butterfly that hibernates in two stages, either as a caterpillar or a chrysalis.