Wingspan 12-15 mm.
Distributed throughout much of England, local in Scotland and mostly coastal in Wales and Ireland, this species is on the wing between June and August.
The wings may be relatively plain, or have darker and paler mottling. The long, upwardly curved, labial palps of the female protrude from a large tuft of scales, but the shorter palps of the male are concealed in the tuft.
In May and June, the larvae spin the shoots of gorse (Ulex), broom (Cytisus) or Dyer's greenweed (Genista tinctoria), feeding within.
- Larva: (description Ian F. Smith):
Foodplant: In spun shoots of Ulex, Cytisus and Genista tinctoria in May and early June. It is unknown whether it is an ovum or small larva in the preceding winter.
Length: 9 mm described (MBGBI; up to 12 mm)
Prothorax (T1): Large black prespiracular pinaculum and black subventral pinaculum. Prothoracic shield black, divided by thin brown medial line.
Thoracic legs: Femur, tibia and tarsus black with pale joints. Base as venter.
Body: Glossy, faintly shagreened. Dark chestnut brown.
Spiracles: Small. Black peritreme.
Pinacula: Slightly darker than integument. Fine black setal spot.
Setae: Translucent white, some slightly tinted brown.
Anal segment: Anal comb black, variable, sometimes large and prominent.
Anal plate black.
Prolegs: Base coloured as body. Planta dull yellowish. Anal proleg has large black posterolateral sclerite. Crochets pitchy black.
Similar species On Cytisus and Ulex:
Individual descriptions and illustrations of the species listed should be checked on this website for further details.
706 Agonopterix nervosa (May-June, Cytisus and Ulex), (dark brown forms)
702 A. assimilella (Oct-April, Cytisus)
705 A. umbellana (May-Aug, Ulex)
874 Blastobasis decolorella (most months, Ulex and many other plants)