Wingspan 11-13 mm.
Coleophora gryphipennella may be confused with several other greyish brown Coleophorid species. The commonest, C. serratella, has indistinct rings on the apex of the antenna, while they are clearly defined on C. gryphipennella. To positively identify specimens that have not been reared from larvae on roses, examination of the genitalia is advisable.
The adult occurs in late June - July, flying at dusk and early morning; males will assemble to an unmated female until 9 a.m. It can also be attracted to light at night. Apart from the far north of Scotland, it is common over most of Britain and Ireland where roses grow.
The larva feeds on rose (Rosa spp.), building successively larger portable cases from cut-out leaf fragments; September 3mm, October to April 6mm. In mid-April the third and final, 6 or 7 mm, case is formed. At first it is spatulate with a bivalved anal opening and serrate dorsal keel formed from a leaf margin. During May, the case is expanded dorsally, becoming cylindrical with a trivalved anal opening. The expansion may conceal the dorsal serration.
Pupation is in the case fixed to a stem in late May and June.