This butterfly is quite common throughout Great Britain and Ireland. It is found in a variety of habitats including hedgerows, woodland, near water and lush vegetation. It also enjoys open spaces such as that provided by downland and Bepton Down with its type of vegetation including scrubby areas is ideal.
It does not cope well in drought conditions as it prefers moist conditions and will fly well in dull and damp weather. It is to be seen on the wing between June and August feeding on a variety of flowers and looking for a potential mate. Eggs are laid on lush coarse grasses during the summer months and will hatch 18 days later. The caterpillars will feed practically all year and are full grown by June of the following year. The chrysalis is to be found on the ground in a loose silken cocoon and the butterfly will emerge some two weeks later.
The adults are easily identified due to their conspicuous white borders and distinctive well-defined eye-spots bordered in yellow on the underside of their wings.