Wingspan c. 5mm.
A locally common species, found mainly on heaths where scattered birch trees are growing.
The larva creates a contorted gallery mine in leaves of birch (Betula), leaving a central irregular line of frass. The mine resembles that of S. luteella, but is far less contorted at the beginning. The larva shows a line of dark ventral spots, unlike that of luteella, and tends to have a darker brown head.
There are two generations, with moths on the wing in May and August, and leafmines visible in July and again from September to November.