In Europe its range extends from the Iberian peninsula through Western and Central Europe and the British Isles. Further east to Sakhalin and in the Amur-Ussuri region. In the north, the limit is Central Fennoscandia. South it occurs from Italy to the Balkans. In Austria, the previously mass-occurring species has become today in many places rare; many populations have disappeared.
The wingspan is 23–27 mm. The length of the forewings is 12–15 mm. Almost entirely black, the extreme apex and apical fringe of the forewing white. In pyrenaica Gumpp. from the Pyrenees and Central Italy, the wings, but especially the forewing, are more or less strongly dusted with brownish-yellow. In ab. nigerrima Th.-Mieg, described from a single female without exact locality, the white apex and apical fringe are absent.
The moth flies from June to August .
The moth flies during the day, preferably with bright sunshine.
The larva feeds mainly on pignut.
Habitats are ditch edges, meadows, bogs and moors, and lake sides.
- ^ The flight season refers to Belgium and The Netherlands. This may vary in other parts of the range.
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