Common in marshes, fens, woodland rides and upland grassland, and on heathland, moorland and river-banks throughout the British Isles. In Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight an uncommon resident, mainly in coastal marshes and less commonly in the river valleys, occasional wanderers may turn up elsewhere. Wingspan 35-40 mm. The main confusion species, Lempke's Gold Spot P. putnami
, is rare in the south of England, and differs in having the more distal of the silver median spots smaller and more rounded, and the subapical silver streak shorter and thicker, but can often only be separated by dissection of the genitalia. Larva feeds on various sedges, including Tufted Sedge and Glaucous Sedge, and other waterside plants.