The upper side of the forewings is buff, nearly golden, in colour. Both pairs of wings have fringed margins. Adults are rarely seen in flight, mostly only the males, and the females after they have deposited their eggs. The larva is yellowish white in colour with a brown head and measures around 10 mm in length when fully mature.
Females lay eggs in clusters of between 30 and 200 which adhere to surfaces .These hatch between four and ten days later into near microscopic white caterpillars which immediately begin to feed. They will also spin mats to hide under in which to feed without being readily noticed and from which they will partially emerge at night or under dark conditions to acquire food.
Development to the next stage takes place through shedding over the course of between one month and two years until the pupal stage is reached. At this point, the caterpillars spin cocoons and spend another approximately 10–50 days developing into adults.
After pupation is complete, the adult moths emerge and begin searching for mates. Females tend to move less than males, and both sexes prefer scuttling over surfaces to flying— some adults never fly at all.
Adults can live for an additional 15–30 days, after which they die (otherwise death takes place shortly after mating for males and shortly after egg laying for females)