New York Natural Heritage Program
Orange Holomelina
Virbia aurantiaca (Hübner, [1831])
Insects

Threats [-]
Known threats include habitat loss due to development and fire suppression, although the threat of development for the remaining habitat on Long Island may be low. The suppression of fires in the pine barrens would cause a loss of habitat for the species and therefore a reduction in population size. This species requires open woodland or barrens with pitch pine and scrub oaks. Forest fires are needed, on average, every 5-10 years (Jordan et al. 2003) to maintain this type of habitat. Lack of fires will result in the succession of this community to a closed-canopy forest of tall oaks and other hardwoods (Little 1979, Jordan et al. 2003). Conversely, a fire affecting an entire occurrence could eliminate all life stages that are present.

Conservation Strategies and Management Practices [-]
Periodic controlled burns or mechanical management are needed to maintain the natural community. The best management strategy for this species is the management of the natural community, or habitat, where this species occurs. Maintaining the Long Island pine barrens with their full suite of plant and animal species requires frequent (every few decades) disturbance to maintain open-canopy, shrub-dominated communities and to prevent succession to a closed-canopy hardwood forest (Jordan et al. 2003). Researchers have determined that "an active fire management program utilizing prescribed fire with appropriate mechanical treatments" is the preferred method (Jordan et al. 2003). Researchers have also determined that the size, type, intensity, and timing of fires (pyrodiversity) needs to be evaluated for each site to maximize benefits to the natural community and the species it supports (Jordan et al. 2003). The entire occupied habitat for a population should not be burned in a single year. For example, in places where prescribed burning is used, refugia (unburned areas) are needed for many species to ensure that any life stage can survive a fire.

Research Needs [-]
Additional surveys are needed with blacklight traps to determine the extent of the dwarf pine barrens occurrence on Long Island and the occurrence in Clinton County as well as to locate additional occurrences. In addition, research is needed on the response of this species to prescribed (controlled) burning and mechanical treatment to improve habitat.