Male with a wingspan of 35-38 mm. Females are wingless. Forewings are ochreous-red with a distinctive white comma shaped spot on the lower edge. Two dark coloured wavy crosslines are also present. Hindwings are ochreous-red and unmarked. Females are pale, ochreous-grey with vestigial wings.
Final instars reach 28 mm in length and are very hairy. Two black hair pencils project forward and one on is present on the rear segment. Four brushes of golden hair are present along the back and warty protuberances with yellow and black hairs are located on each segment.
White and laid in masses on the pupal cocoon by wingless females.
European, the Middle East, parts of Asia and North America
A wide range of coniferous and deciduous trees and shrubs.
Larvae defoliate their hosts. The colourful larvae are easily seen and the pupal cases are distinctive, usually spun amongst bare twigs.