(Hübner, )Wingspan c. 13 mm.
This species has two generations, flying in June and again in August. It is distributed widely in the south of Britain, but becomes scarcer northwards. The drier substrates found on limestone and coastal sand, appear to favour it in North Wales and NW England.
It can be distinguished from two similar relatives by the following features:
Head & palps Thorax
C. dubitana white blackish
C. atricapitana blackish blackish
C. hybridella white white
The larvae, in July and August-April, feed inside flowers and developing seedheads of various Compositae, including ragwort (Senecio), Hawkbeards (Crepis spp.), Hawkweeds (Hieracium spp.), Perennial sow-thistle (Sonchus arvensis) and goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea). There is usually no external sign of feeding, and occupancy rates are often low (e.g. 5 larvae from 133 opened seedheads of Sonchus arvensis). Larvae overwinter in a cocoon among debris from October to April.
See 'show detail' for larval descriptions.
Pupation in April-May, and in July, is in a cocoon on the ground among debris.