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There is a blurred orange line parallel to the forewing edge and passing directly through the oval and kidney marks.

Rustics, etc - Xylinae

The Rustic and other similar Noctuids

1. Uncertain, The Rustic and Vine’s Rustic which are all common but difficult to distinguish.

2. Mottled Rustic,  which is similar to the first three but has clear distinguishing features.

3. Common Quaker, which is often similar to Vine’s Rustic.

4. Square-spot Rustic and Small Square-spot - common moths of sub-family Noctuinae which are similar to the first three.


Oval and kidney marks contrast with the forewing colour.

Cross-lines show clearly including the cross-band joining the kidney marks.

Tip of the forewing is more rounded than in The Rustic


Oval and kidney marks do not contrast with the forewing colour.

Cross-lines faint.

Tip of forewing is more pointed than in Uncertain

Oval and kidney marks larger and more rounded than Uncertain or The Rustic.

Forewing is grey-brown with a chalky appearance

Vine’s Rustic

If a moth cannot be positively identified

These 3 species are so variable and so similar that often a moth cannot be identified from its markings alone.

In this case if you are trapping and have a number of moths obviously of the same species this will help. If necessary they could possibly be identified by killing and dissecting them.

Otherwise, if you are recording, there should be a term for this group of moths recommended for your database - e.g.  ‘Uncertain or Rustic Agg.’

Mottled Rustic

Other moths which could be confused with The Rustic, Uncertain and Vine’s Rustic

Common Quaker

Some Common Quakers are ‘chalky’ and look like Vine’s Rustic. However their flight periods hardly overlap - Common Quaker: February to May ;  

The inner and outer edges of the main cross-line contrast strongly

Vine’s Rustic : May to September

Square-spot Rustic

The Square-spot Rustic is very variable. It looks quite like The Rustic or the Uncertain but its Kidney mark has one or both sides missing so that the mark looks roughly square.

Kidney mark is square at the sides and usually light in colour.

Usually a dark area between the Oval and Kidney marks

Small Square-spot

Very similar to Square-spot Rustic but usually slightly smaller

Distinguished by a black spot level with the Oval mark.

Other species do have a black spot in this position - see comparison between Small Square-spot and Ingrailed Clay

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Uncertain, the Rustic and Vine’s Rustic

Hindwing is whiter than in The Rustic and Uncertain.

The mottled Rustic looks quite like the Uncertain.

Oval and kidney marks have blurred edges

The leading edge of the forewing curves round to the wing tip - it is straighter in Vine’s Rustic

There are often longitudinal white lines in the outer half of the forewing

For comparison of  Common Quaker with other quakers see Quakers page

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