A large, robust species with ivory spots on the gaster. Until recently this was the only member of this worldwide genus to be found in Britain, but the recent discovery of Episyron gallicum (Tournier) has complicated matters. Females are readily distinguished by having four comb spines of the fore tarsus (three in gallicum), but males are very similar and require critical examination.
Episyron rufipes is widespread in lowland Britain on any sandy soils. Away from the south-east heaths and coastal systems, inland records are scattered north to Humberside. In Wales, north west England and in Ireland, E. rufipes is mostly confined to the coast.
The species is widely distributed in open sandy habitats across the western Palaearctic, eastwards to central Asia.