The distribution includes most of Europe including the British Isles and extends eastwards through Russia and the Altai and the Vyatskoye, as well as north into the Arctic Circle, and south to the Caucasus. It also occurs in North America.
The wingspan is 23–27 mm. The length of the forewings is 13–17 mm. The basal region is dark grey, and is bordered by a light coloured band in which are mostly dark stains. The very wide discal region is black brown, and often shows a nearly elliptical white "drawing" in the middle. The marginal area is brown with several significant arrow patches. Two or three distally facing peaks continue as orange coloured strokes sometimes up to the outer edge. Below the apex, there are dark arch stains and a white wavy line located at the outer edge. The hind wings are white grey and have bright crosslines as well as a little black heart. The colour of head, thorax, and abdomen is brown.
The moths fly in two generations from May to July and from August to September. .
The larvae feed mainly on willowherbs.
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