The clay is a plain moth, with variable ground colour, ranging from pinkish brown, buff and straw. It has small white markings on each forewing. The males have a black band on the underside of the abdomen. Wingspan up to 40mm.
The caterpillars feed on grasses.
It flies June to August, and is attracted to light. Found in various open habitats, including open woodland, wetland and gardens. Common and widespread.
Photographs taken July 2015, rear garden, Staffordshire.