Burning like fire or blooming like a flower? The etymology of this winged "wolf" opens to two options, both related to the color of its wings. If the origin of "phlaeas" were Greek, we would have no doubts in finding it in the term phlego: fire! But what if rather than a flame it reminded us a flower? In that case, the Latin "floreo" (to bloom) would fit the bill perfectly, but no matter whether flaming or unfurling: granted, it will enrapture our gaze anyway!
This Lycenidae is a very widespread species, present in Canada, in the eastern United States, in the Canary Islands, in almost the whole of Europe, including the sub-arctic areas of Scandinavia, and in all temperate Asia up to the extreme east of Japan. It is also found throughout much of Africa, from the Atlas Mountains and North African grasslands, south to Kenya and Malawi. it is found in many different habitats, including heathlands, calcareous grasslands, sand dunes, cliff tops, railroad embankments, old quarries, woodland paths and clearings, hay meadows, pastures, and almost anywhere that the plants on which the caterpillars depend grow. Butterflies generally tend to be localized within each habitat. They usually breed in sheltered cavities, or at the bottom of sunny slopes, where vegetation is sparse and areas of bare ground are available for basking. In spring, these butterflies often bask on bare ground, periodically visiting various wildflowers for nectar. They strongly prefer daisies over other nectar sources, but also visit ground ivy, dandelions, buttercups, and blackthorn flowers. If a male intercepts another male, the pair engages in a frantic battle, twisting and turning in tight circles until one of them throws in the towel and flies away.