Despite its common name, this butterfly is one of the "browns". They are a common sight in unimproved grasslands across southern Britain, particularly on the South Downs.
Like other members of its family, the larvae feed on various grasses. The full range is unknown, but it is thought that Red Fescue (Festuca rubra) is essential in their diet. Eggs are laid on the wing, or from brief perches on grass stems, and are just sprinkled among the grass stems. Upon hatching, the larvae immediately enter hibernation, and only feed the following spring when the fresh growth occurs. They are a lime green colour, with a dark green line running down the middle of their back. Pupation takes place at ground level in a loose cocoon. Adults emerge in July, and, on a good site, in warm, sunny weather, thousands can be seen gently fluttering amongst the grass heads