Wingspan c.10 mm.
The three British species of Sorhagenia cannot be distinguished on external characters alone, and genitalia dissection is required to be certain of identification. The adults have noticeable scale-tufts on the forewing.
In common with the other two species, lophyrella feeds on buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) and alder buckthorn (Frangula alnus), at first in the bud, then later between spun leaves.
It is distributed in south-eastern England, with odd populations further north.