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There are a large number of species in the family Noctuinae which have a cross-
Darts, etc -
1. Turnip moth, Heart and Dart, Heart and Club, Dark Sword-
The wing markings and background colour of these four are so variable that other characters are needed as well. Some moths are very dark so the markings are not clear.
The distinguishing character for Heart and Dart is a wide black ‘collar’ behind its head.
Heart and Dart
Usually on Heart and Dart:
1. The ‘dart’ on each wing is large and sharp with clearly defined edges.
2. The background colour is plain with no spots.
For Turnip Moth usually:
1. The ‘dart’ on each wing is quite small.
2. The ‘dart’, oval mark and kidney mark are each ringed by a dark boundary line.
Photos of a moth in this group should include one taken from in front of the head so the collar is not obscured.
Heart and Club
The Heart and Club does not have the clear black collar of the Heart and Dart, although there may be some black behind the head.
The hindwing of the Heart and Club is grey and is not the bright white of the Turnip Moth.
The ‘dart’ on the forewing is usually rounded with a fuzzy edge and the background of the wing is often very spotty
extra ‘darts’ on each forewing
1 below the Kidney mark pointing to the outer edge of the wing
2 at the outer edge of the wing pointing up.
The Dark Sword-
Other related moths have dark, even black, collars but very different wing markings
see Black Collar Moth (very rare) and Shuttle-
This ‘dart’ shows up more on darker female forms.
From above the Flame looks similar to a light form of the Shuttle-
The Flame does have some wing markings similar to the male shuttle-
Instead it has a small, dark, fairly rounded, oval mark