Tiger Moth from Tanzania

Mahale Mountains Moth
Location: Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania
November 10, 2011 9:00 am
Dear Daniel
I took this picture in February, in the morning, in Mahale Mountains National Park- Tanzania. I would love to know what genus (or species) this animal belongs to. This beautiful moth was rather slow moving.
kind regards
Signature: Teena

Unknown Moth from Tanzania

Dear Teena,
We are going to seek some assistance from Bill Oehlke for this identification.  Your moth reminds us of the Royal Walnut Moth or Regal Moth,
Citheronia regalis, from North America (see BugGuide), however, to the best of our knowledge, that genus and subfamily are not found in Africa.

HI Daniel thanks very much for trying, I thought maybe it was from the family Ctenuchinae, but that was as far as I could get and then I wasn’t really sure.  If it is possible I would love to know.  Warm regards Teena
Teena Payne
The Infinite Horizon

How large was this moth Teena?

Hi Daniel, I reckon about 2cm-ie wing/head length.  Kind regards Teena

Bill Oehlke provides a correction
November 11, 2011
HI Daniel,
A pretty moth but I do not know what it is. It is not a Saturniidae.
Bill Oehlke

Hi again Teena,
We are going to check with Arctiid expert Julian Donahue next to verify if this is a Tiger Moth as you suspected.  Julian may be exploring some exotic land right now, so his response may be delayed.

Julian Donahue provides some taxonomy
November 14, 2011
Nice moth! Formerly placed in the mostly African family Thyretidae, but this group has recently been considered a part of the subfamily Syntominae of the Arctiidae (or the tribe Syntomini of the subfamily Arctiinae of the family Noctuidae, if you follow the recent extreme lumping of the tiger moths with the “millers”).
The moth appears to belong to the genus Balacra or the genus Metarctia, both of which have several species recorded from Tanzania. Some of those species are relatively recently described, and I do not have at hand any of the pertinent references to key out a specimen (if indeed I had a specimen in hand).
Sorry I couldn’t be any more specific.

Dear Daniel and Julian… many thanks for your efforts…I wish I had taken more pictures of this animal- especially since it was very compliant! In all the time I was in Mahale this was the only one I ever saw.  kind regards Teena

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