Wingspan 16 to 22 mm. It can be confused with other species such as A. propinquella, and is usually best identified by dissection. The form rhodochrella is more distinctive, with darker head and thorax, and more prominent wing markings.
Areas where the larval foodplants are available.
The adults emerge from August, hibernating over the winter. They can sometimes be encountered until the following May.
The larvae feed on knapweed or thistle.
A fairly common species throughout much of England and Wales, becoming scarcer into Scotland and Ireland. In the Butterfly Conservation's Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as common.
It appears to be uncommon in Leicestershire and Rutland, where there are few records. L&R Moth Group status = D (rare or rarely recorded).
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
Enter a town or village to see local records
Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015