My reference is a book by the USDA - 'Caterpillars of the Eastern Forests', publication FHTET-96-34, Nov. 1997, by David L. Wagner, Valerie Giles, Richard C. Reardon and Michael L. McManus.
The closest one I could find is Acronicta afflicta - Afflicted Dagger Moth. Says it feeds on oaks and walnuts.
Here's the key: "Light red-brown, brown, tan, or occasionally green with black spatulate seta to either side of darkened middorsal stripe. Setae along sides of body white, soft, and relatively long."
Then I checked Bug Guide.net
for verification. Does this look close?:
One image I found on the web showed the head darker. Seems there's a lot of variability in the color, maybe from what instar stage it is and what it feeds on?
Another possibility is the Acronicta haesitata complex, but those have white markings on the back. They also feed on oaks.
On Sep 5, 2013, at 2:16 PM, Bruce Bartrug wrote:
Here's a quick mockup of the caterpillar. The color is too bright, but this will give you an idea. The thin setae originated within the black dots. Suggestions welcomed. The original image is copywritten, so please don't use/abuse. Unlike myself.
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