Two distinct species of herminiine noctuids that occur sympatrically in parts of southern Europe and North Africa are currently known as Pechipogo plumigeralis Hübner, [ 1825] and Polypogon crinalis (Treitschke, 1829). However, these names are synonymous, being based upon the same Hübner figure (that of Pyralis barbalis Clerck sensu Hübner, 1796). The second species is here identified as Herminia simplicicornis Zerny, 1935, a species described from North Africa and not previously recognised as part of the European fauna. The identity and generic placing of the two species is discussed, based on characters of the genitalia, palpi and forelegs, many of which are described and figured for the first time. A full historic synonymy with diagnostic description is provided for both species. Lectotypes are designated for all three named taxa and the following nomenclatural changes are established: Polypogon plumigeralis (Hübner, ) (comb. n.), = Polypogon crinalis (Treitschke, 1829) (syn. rev.); Pechipogo simplicicornis (Zemy, 1935) (comb. n.); Polypogon Schrank, 1802, = Microphta Berio, 1989 (syn. n.), = Gryphopogon Beck, 1996 (syn. n.); and Zanclognatha Lederer, 1857, = Treitschkendia Berio, 1989 (syn. n.), = Zellerminia Beck, 1996 (syn. n.).