Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFErebidae Members: 26 NC Records

Virbia rubicundaria (Hübner, [1831]) - Ruddy Holomelina Moth

Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ArctiinaeTribe: ArctiiniP3 Number: 930300.00 MONA Number: 8122.00 MONA Synonym: Holomelina rubicundaria
Comments: One of fourteen species in North America, five of which occur in North Carolina
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984; as Holomelina rubicundaria)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1960); Zaspel et al. (2008)Technical Description, Immature Stages: None                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The smallest and brightest orange of our species of Virbia. The forewings are generally pinkish orange and lack the discal spots and sub-median dark band sometimes found in aurantiaca. Hind-wings are unmarked bright orange in males and possess brown discal spots and a marginal band in females. Females in particular may be difficult to distinguish from those of aurantiaca except by their smaller size and brighter colors (Zaspel et al., 2008). Males of the two species can usually be distinguished based on the presence of dark marking on the hindwings of male aurantiaca but none in rubicundaria; unmarked forms of aurantiaca also exist, however, which may require dissection to determine.
Forewing Length: 8.9 mm, males; 8.7 mm, females (Zaspel et al., 2008)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: Larval descriptions appear to be unavailable.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Except for one historic record from Brevard in the Mountains (Wray, 1967), all of our records come from the eastern Piedmont and Coastal Plain.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: Adults have been recorded throughout the growing season but too few data exist to determine if there are distinct flight periods
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The majority of our records come from Longleaf Pine habitats, including savannas, flatwoods, sandhills, and sandhill seeps. We also have records from Maritime Forests (Baldhead Island) and fairly ordinary Dry-Mesic Oak Hickory Forest in the Piedmont.
Larval Host Plants: Zaspel et al. (2008) list Dandelion and Wild Lettuce as host plants, but probably as foods accepted in captivity. in the wild, they probably feed on a variety of low forbs, as reported for other members of this genus (see Forbes, 1960 and Wagner, 2005).
Observation Methods: Appears to come moderately to blacklights, usually in small numbers but with up to seven collected in a single trap. Adults do not feed, so do not come to bait. Most Virbias can be flushed from their habitats during the day, indicating they are at least partially diurnal (Zaspel et al., 2008)
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S3S4]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands
Comments: Appears to be somewhat uncommon in North Carolina but may have been overlooked due to mis-identification as V. aurantiaca. It does not appear to be restricted by either host plants or habitats.

 Photo Gallery for Virbia rubicundaria - Ruddy Holomelina Moth

Photos: 12

Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2020-07-04
Orange Co.
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-01
Guilford Co.
Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2020-06-28
Durham Co.
Recorded by: John Petranka on 2019-05-15
Burke Co.
Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2019-05-04
Onslow Co.
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2018-06-15
Guilford Co.
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2018-06-15
Guilford Co.
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2018-06-15
Guilford Co.
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2016-08-06
Cabarrus Co.
Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2015-07-14
Orange Co.
Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2015-07-09
Orange Co.
Recorded by: Taylor Piephoff on 2011-08-05
Mecklenburg Co.