A migrant species, which varies in numbers from year to year, with large numbers in some years and absent in others. In a good migration year, larvae are often recorded, especially in southern coastal districts.
June to August is the main arrival period, and southern England the most frequent location.
The larvae feed on a number of herbaceous plants, including often garden marigolds (Calendula spp.).
A pale-straw yellow to orange-brown coloured medium-sized moth, with a darker brown/grey kidney blotch on the front edge of the forewing. Sometimes faint, brown blotch adjacent on leading edge. On outer edge, black dot at trailing corner only.
It is quite variable, and it is suggested that the paler individuals derive from desert origin, these often arriving with Saharan ‘dust storms’.