47 - 50mm
Although at a casual glance both sexes look alike, the female is actually slightly larger, about 50mm across the wings, and she has brighter yellow markings. The male is about 47mm across. The overall colour is a deep brownish-black on the upper wings, with scattered creamy-yellow bars and oval patches on the forewing, with a dark eye roundel with central small yellow pupil. The upper hindwings have three or four eye roundels around the bottom edge, those on the male neatly circled with yellow and a centre dot, those on the female being shaped more like a shield and larger centred. All wings have a pale fringe, and the hindwing is scalloped with some faint marking from the vein endings.
Hibernating chrysalis hatch out early in the spring, so they can be seen as early as February in warm seasons. Hibernating caterpillars have to go into pupation, so they appear later in the spring. Thus, each generation has this stepped flying appearance, and so the Speckled Wood can be seen on the wing more or less continuously throughout the season from March to October.
With such a long season of appearance, the Speckled Wood utilises a wide variety of flowers for nectaring, from the early spring flowers to those of late autumn.