Wingspan c. 16-18mm.
Locally distributed mainly in the southern half of England, with occasional records further north, this species occupies oak woodland.
The adults have faintly reticulated forewings and are relatively straightforward to identify. They can resemple Y. alpella and Y. sylvella, however both these species lack the white head and central thorax of lucella.
Adults are on the wing in July and August, and the larvae feed in a slight silken spinning on the leaves of oak (Quercus).