(Hübner, )Wingspan 15-22 mm.
On this moth, both forewings and hindwings are primarily grey. The forewing ranges from whitish grey to brownish grey, with darker markings, which vary in intensity. Some, especially worn specimens, lack discernable markings.
It is common throughout Britain and Ireland in a variety of habitats, including mountains, moorlands and woodlands. It flies in the late afternoon and evening in May and June, coming to light after dusk.
The larva feeds from a leaf spinning or folded leaf, on bramble (Rubus), birch (Betula) and oak (Quercus), and many other trees, shrubs, herbs and grasses. It is active from July to October, overwintering as a full-grown larva to pupate in Spring.
Several other polyphagous species have similar brown larvae; see detailed description below for help in distinguishing them.