Nationally scarce (Na) in river valleys, marshes, fens and damp woodland in southern England and South Wales. In Hampshire the headquarters of this nationally very local species are in the Test valley north and south of Stockbridge; there is another colony in the Winchester area, in the valley of the Itchen. Not recorded from the Isle of Wight to date. Wingspan 44-54 mm. The most likely confusion species is the far more common Burnished Brass Diachrysia chrysitis
which has the basal portion of the metallic patch extending from costa to dorsum, in Scarce Burnished Brass this patch is squarish and limited to the apical area (MBGBI Vol 10). Larva feeds on Hemp-agrimony growing in carr and along the margins of fen woodland but not, apparently, in dry places.