Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
from the May 6, 2012 Newsletter issued from the woods of the Loess Hill Region a few miles east of Natchez, Mississippi, USA
THE NEIGHBOR MOTH
On a green leaf near the ground in deep shade of a vast understory of greenness, in upland, mostly oak forest, and not moving at all despite my closeness, there sat a moth. Its wings were emblazoned with a whiteness that was nearly shocking within all that greenness, and the whiteness bore a strange geometric marking, as shown below:
Volunteer identifier Bea in Ontario didn't need much time to name such a distinctive creature. "HAPLOA CONTIGUA -- The Neighbor Moth" she wrote with her usual laconic efficiency when in ID mode, adding a couple of links to prove it. So now on the Internet I sought what could be found about Haploa contigua.
The Neighbor is distributed from Quebec to the mountains of Georgia, west to South Dakota, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Its dark caterpillars with yellow lines along their sides and tufts of short, sharp bristles are similar to tent caterpillars, but don't make tents. They eat leaves of a variety of plants, including members of the Sunflower (Composite) and Borage Families and Hazelnut, overwinter, and then in their second season as caterpillars grow some more before metamorphosing.
And I can't find anyone who knows why Haploa contigua is called The Neighbor.