Pyraustas etc -
1. Pyrausta aurata, Pyrausta purpuralis, Pyrausta despicata Note: Wing markings in these 3 species vary greatly, but the differences given apply in nearly all cases.
The purple scales on P.aurata and P.purpuralis easily wear off so the moth then appears brown in colour. It then looks similar to dark forms of P.despicata.
Pyrausta despicata (dark and light forms)
Pale cream or yellow markings are indistinct and not clearly edged
Pyrausta aurata (worn specimen)
Orange marks mainly near the leading edge of the forewing
More orange marks -
Check also Pyrausta ostrinalis which is similar to P. Purpuralis but is much less common.
2. Mother of Pearl, European Corn-
Mother of Pearl -
These are both immigrants but in some years they are numerous.
Tends to settle with wings making quite a narrow triangle
Black or grey markings including two large dots near the leading edge of the wing
Tends to settle with wings making a wider triangle than Rusty-
Dark dot in a light-
Markings on worn forewing pale but clearly edged.
Mark near leading edge of P.aurata and P.purpuralis roughly circular
Colour of Rusty-
There are other species of Crambidae with similar colour and markings but most are
less common and most have a more sudden hump in the main zig-
Sudden rise in main cross-
The wings of Mother of Pearl have a sheen, which is shown up by cross-
Mother of Pearl usually rests with wings spread out.