Wingspan c. 16-22mm.
A fairly well-distributed species over much of the British Isles, this rather variable moth is on the wing in July and August, sometimes into October. It frequents wet moorlands, marshes and fens and is not easily observed, though it does come to light.
Specimens do occur without the obvious contrast between light and dark, or with obscure markings and these can be confused with related species.
The larva feeds in spun shoots of sallow (Salix) or bog myrtle (Myrica gale).