Common at freshwater margins and on dry open areas and waste ground throughout England and Wales, less numerous in the north, rare in southern Scotland and Ireland. In Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight only frequent in south-east Hampshire, but perhaps under-recorded elsewhere. Wingspan 10-13 mm. When worn it can be distinguished from similar specimens of M. ochraceella
by its grey hindwings and smaller wingspan (MBGBI Vol 4 part 1). Larva feeds on Great Willowherb.