Local on moorland and heathland, and in open woodland and rough pastures throughout much of the British Isles. In Hampshire very local amongst Bracken, with strongholds in Crab Wood in vice-county 11 and Pamber Forest in vice-county 12; ). On the Isle of Wight, one on Luccombe Down in 2015 was the first record since the start of the 20th century.
Wingspan 32-50 mm. Distinguished from its congeners by the conspicuously barred cilia of fore- and hindwing (MBGBI Vol 1). Larva feeds within roots of Bracken, over-wintering twice, also found in areas where Bracken does not occur, where the foodplant may be Red Fescue.