Look at this lovely we found on the deck last night…
After a bit of research… and I did use Google Image Search to start (that handy little tool that lets you drag and drop an image onto the search page and it returns similar/related results) I found out that this is probably an
Apatelodes torrefacta, or Spotted Apatelodes, is a species of moth in the Bombycidae or Apatelodidae (if this family is considered valid) family. It is found from Maine and southern Ontario to Florida, west to Texas, and north to Wisconsin.
The wingspan is 32–42 mm. Adults are on wing from May to August. There are two generations per year in the south and one in the north.
From: Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apatelodes_torrefacta
I had never seen one before… and quite frankly I think the adult moth that comes from this caterpillar is rather frightening looking.
However, there is a joy in learning about new creatures in one’s environment, even if they are a little scary looking. The caterpillar is certainly an eye-catcher.