Wingspan 10-15 mm.
Feeding on birch (Betula) leaves, the larvae of this species create a distinctive 'pistol' shaped case from silk, rather like the closely related C. ibipennella, which feeds on oak. Indeed, at one time they were believed to be conspecific.
The species is distributed thinly in England and Wales as far north as Cumbria, and occupies heathy habitats where the foodplant grows.
The adult moths fly in June and July and have a relatively plain whitish as well as a yellowish-streaked form.