About the size of a sparrow, the roachcutter's wings have a high aspect ratio, meaning that they are short and broad, perfect for making tight turns. Feather tips are splayed out like fingers to manipulate the passage of air and increase maneuverability. The bird's eyes make it easy to distinguish from other flutterbirds - they are mounted on turrets.
With its small size and short wings, the roachcutter can hover like a Eurasian blue tit, scanning tree trunks for small insects with its turreted eyes. Its beak is extremely tough, able to crush the hard exoskeletons of the insects on which it feeds. Even though it is adapted for slow navigation of tight spaces, the roachcutter is capable of reaching high speeds. At the sound of an approaching predator, it adjusts the angle of its wings and darts away between the trees. Speed and agility are good methods of defense.
Predators of the roachcutter include falconflies, which can spear them in midair.