Asteroseismology is a powerful tool for probing the internal structures of stars by using their natural pulsation frequencies. It relies on identifying sequences of pulsation modes that can be compared with theoretical models, which has been done successfully for many classes of pulsators, including low-mass solar-type stars, red giants, high-mass stars and white dwarfs. However, a large group of pulsating stars of intermediate mass--the so-called delta Scuti stars--have rich pulsation spectra for which systematic mode identification has not hitherto been possible. This arises because only a seemingly random subset of possible modes are excited, and because rapid rotation tends to spoil the regular patterns. Here we report the detection of remarkably regular sequences of high-frequency pulsation modes in 60 intermediate-mass main-sequence stars, allowing definitive mode identification. Some of these stars have space motions that indicate they are members of known associations of young stars, and modelling of their pulsation spectra confirms that these stars are indeed young.