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Chestnuts - Xyleninae


Identify moths


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A number of Noctuids have ‘Chestnut’ in their English name, even if they are not very closely related. The name usually indicates that common forms of the species is overall reddish-brown.
1. The Red Chestnut ( Cerastis rubricosa ) is easily confused with two members of Genus Conistra - the Chestnut and the Dark Chestnut.
2. Beaded Chestnut
is very similar to two other common noctuids - Brown-spot Pinion and to some forms of Lunar Underwing.

1. Chestnut, Dark Chestnut and Red Chestnut.
These three species are most easily identified by wing shape. However Chestnut and Dark Chestnut both appear in Autumn, overwinter as an adult and then emerge in the early Spring. By this time their wing edges are often worn, making identification difficult. Red Chestnut appears only in the Spring.

Chestnut

Dark Chestnut

Red Chestnut

2. Beaded Chestnut, Brown-spot Pinion and Lunar Underwing.


Beaded Chestnut

Brown-spot Pinion

Lunar Underwing

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The leading edge of the forewing is curved.


The tip of the wing is blunt.


The outer edge of the wing is curved

There are white marks on the leading edge of the wing near the tip on Dark Chestnut and Red Chestnut. These are faint or missing on Chestnut.

The leading edge of the forewing curves as in Chestnut but the tip is quite pointed.

The outer edge of the forewing is straight.

In some cases the outer edge curves inwards, making the tip of the wing appear hooked.

The leading edge of the forewing is straight right to the tip of the wing.

The Red Chestnut has quite a distinct forewing pattern with a white crossband near the wing base and dark patches on the leading edge of the wing being visible on most specimens.

The oval mark is narrow and slopes steeply.

The kidney mark is very narrow

There are not two black spots on the edge of the forewing near the wing tip - though sometimes there is a dark patch

The oval mark is fairly wide and rounded.

The kidney mark is not usually as narrow as in Beaded Chestnut

The are two triangular black spots at the leading edge of the forewing near the wing tip.

Most specimens have a very clear network of wing veins

The hindwing has black markings - the hindwing of Beaded Chestnut is plain grey.

The oval and kidney marks wide and rounded.


There is a black crossband near the base of the forewing

The are two triangular black spots at the leading edge of the forewing near the wing tip.