Exceptionally variable throughout its range, this species varies from relatively plain dark forms to well-marked buff and orange individuals. In the darker forms especially, there is usually a distinctive paler fringe to the forewing.
It flies from March to May, and can be found at sallow blossom as well as at light.
Occupying a range of habitats, it is common over most of Britain.
The larvae feed on a number of trees and shrubs, but especially oak (