An unmistakable species with distinctive pale bands running along each forewing emphasized with a dark streak and oval markings. It is reddish-brown to purplish in ground colour. Wingspan 25 to 30mm.
It flies May to June, and August to September in the south, whilst in the north May to July. Found in varied habitats, including moorland, farmland, grassland, woodland and gardens. Common and widespread throughout.
The caterpillar feeds on a variety of herbaceous plants.
Photographs of Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta), taken May 2014, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2014. Camera used Nikon D3200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.