A familiar migrant butterfly, which is easily recognisable with its orange-red bands on a black-brown background. Adults often seen on buddleia flowers.
Wingspan 64 - 72 mm (male), 70 -78 mm (female).
Considerable numbers arrive in late May and June, and their offspring may be seen in August, September (and into October in a good year). However, immigration can continue throughout the summer months.
Ova are laid on nettle, hatching after 5-10 days. Larval stage lasts 3 - 4 weeks. Pupae are suspended on a silken pad among spun leaves. Emergence takes place just over a fortnight. Does not survive winters in the north - numbers replenished each year by migration.
May be seen from late May to early October.
Occurs throughout the mainland area, the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland.