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The butterfly has a wingspan of 50 to 55 mm. The base-colour of the wings is a rusty red, and at each wingtip it bears a distinctive, black, blue and yellow eyespot. The underside is a cryptically coloured dark-brown or black.
The insects are in Europe, except in the north and parts of the Iberian Peninsula, Greece, and Asia to Japan widespread and frequent. They are found up to an altitude of 2500 meters.  They come in a variety of habitats, such as near bright and sunlit forests, but also in parks and gardens.