Imperial Moth – Identification

Q: I can’t find any info as to what this visitor to my deck is.

I am thinking he fell from either the pine tree or the black gum tree that hang over my deck. I am guessing the black gum tree since he probably was up there amongst the orange leaves.

He is ~3″ long and has orange skin with no fur; totally smooth.

A: You have an imperial moth caterpillar. They are fearsome-looking but harmless.

They seem to have several colorations: green, red, cinnamon, brown, etc. I have no idea why the difference. Maybe, as you guess, it is influenced by the host tree leaves the creature eats.

The imperial moth itself is quite large and impressive-looking.

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