DESCRIPTION: The forewings are black with several white spots and a broad red crossband, while the hindwings are marbled with brown and black with an orange spot on the margin. Wingspan: 5.5-6 cm.|
LIFE CYCLE: The eggs, cylindrical in shape and greenish, are laid singly, hatching into tiny larvae, which vary in colour. The caterpillars take shelter among the leaves where they hatched. They only require a few weeks to mature. The butterfly emerges two weeks later, in early summer, and breeds, producing a second generation of individuals that are larger and brighter in colour. The second generation overwinters as adults and breeds the following spring.
ACTIVE PERIOD: The flight season of the adults is late April to early October, while the caterpillars are active from mid-June to August.
ABUNDANCE: Very common some years.
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION: Wide open spaces, fields, flower gardens and along forest edges and logging roads in deciduous or coniferous forests. Attracted to rotten fruit. Found in Europe, Asia, North Africa and North America as far south as Panama.