Some confusions in my life seem interminable, but with bugs, it mostly works out. In this case, I think the confusion worked out by leaving me confused. So to speak. It left me with a Confused Haploa Moth. I originally narrowed it with confidence down to Genus Haploa, but then I hit some trouble. The larvae across five or six species look very similar to the untrained eye. Using BugGuide.net and David Wagner’s Caterpillars of Eastern North America: A Guide to Identification and Natural History (a truly excellent guide book, I decided it was Haploa confusa; the prominent dorsal stripe and less defined subdorsal stripes seem to give it the edge over H. lecontei (Leconte’s Haploa). It’s always nice to get a tough ID; it’s like solving a mystery.
Incidentally, the adult moths in this genus look very similar as well, in that they typically have triangular cream-colored wings with striking brown patterns and orange heads. I don’t have any adult shots on BugPhoto.net, but I have at least a couple Haploa sp. adults in my archives. One being the Clymene Moth, H. clymene, which is probably most well-known for its cross-like (think Jesus) pattern. (Two photos after the break/below.)