This beautiful, variable butterfly is distributed over most of the Palearctic, including; Europe, Algeria, temperate Asia and Japan.
It is a strong flier and a very active species.
The male has scent scales on the upperside of the forewing, that run along veins. The scent is used to attract the females and helps to distinguish it from other species.
Unusually for a butterfly, the female does not lay her eggs directly on the food plant, in this case violets, but instead, it lays them in the crevices of tree bark, generally located close to clumps of violets.