Orange Holomelina rubicundaria – Virbia rubicundaria
Location:  Lexington NC
August 16, 2010 10:38 am
I think this is an orange Holomelina rubicundaria – Virbia rubicundaria moth. He was very small, and though he was orange, blended in rather well.
He was not too cooperative, but i I didn’t give up till I had at least one good shot of him.
Rick (SCWIDVICIOUS)

Tiger Moth: Orange Holomenlina

Hi again Rick,
Again we must state that we love getting insects that have been preidentified because then we just try to find links that support the identification.  We checked out
Virbia rubicundaria on BugGuide and the Moth Photographers Group, and we must say that we believe its close relative in the same genus, Virbia aurantiaca, looks like another possibility.  See both BugGuide and The Moth Photographers Group to compare.  In this case, the opinion of a real expert might be required.  Since this is a Tiger Moth, we will see if our friend the Arctiid expert Julian Donahue can provide a conclusive ID.

Great, I hope we get a verdict from Julian. I know its a rather strange angle that could possibly hinder the ID, but it’s all he was willing to do for me.  I have loads of insects I plan on sending your way, and I will try to ID each one of them as best I can.
I love your site, it helps a lot of people in a lot of ways, and  I have spent countless hours looking around, which is one reason I like to contribute what I can. My insect  photo collection is huge, and i try to take the best photos I can with my crappy lens. When I can finally land the lens i really want, you will see some beautiful pics coming your way for sure.

Thanks Rick, for both the compliment and the contributions, especially of new species for us like this Holomelina.  Since we teach photography we feel qualified to say we did not notice the crappy quality of your lens.  We think your photos are perfectly fine.  Trust us when we say we get plenty of blurry photographs of enormous size that take copious amounts of post production time before a mediocre image can be posted.  The photo is only as good as the person behind the camera and as long as the equipment provides a usable image, it is more than adequate.

Julian Donahue provides information, but no conclusive identification
August 17, 2010
Hi Daniel,
According to Covell’s eastern moth book, rubicundaria is a Gulf Coast species, while aurantiaca would be the one from North Carolina.
However, I wouldn’t bet on either one–I don’t have Zaspel & Weller’s 2006 revision of Virbia (including the former Holomelina) at hand. This is a tough group, and even spread specimens are sometimes difficult to identify.
Julian P. Donahu

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