Wingspan c. 32 mm.
Distributed in the southern half of England, Sitochroa verticalis is resident but also a sporadic immigrant, reinforcing the population from time to time.
It has a resemblance to Ostrinia nubilalis but has subtle differences in the forewing and a more strongly-marked underside.
The adults fly in June and July over grassy areas and are attracted to light, but are readily disturbed by day.
The larva feeds on a number of plants such as creeping thistle (Cirsium arvense), broom (Sarothamnus) and goosefoot (Atriplex).
See also Cirsium key.