So, continuing with my quest to know all that there is around me, I looked up the ID of this moth that I encountered on our deck a while back:
This is an Io Moth (Automeris io), a member of the Wild Silk Moth family
(Saturniidae), subfamily Buck and Io Moths (Hemileucinae) (the first of 3 subfamilies).
It looks like there are about 34 species of moths within the Buck/Io subfamily (in North America) according to Butterflies and Moths of North America.
Remember that Polyphemus Moth that I posted about last week? He also belongs to the Wild Silk Moth family, but to a different subfamily: Giant Silk Moths. Probably the most widely recognized of the Giant Silk Moths is the Luna Moth (sorry, no photo - I actually haven't seen one yet this year!). I would say that this Io Moth is about 1/4 or 1/3 the size the Polyphemus Moth.
The 3rd and final subfamily within the Wild Silk Moth family is that of the Royal Moths. There is one from this subfamily that I would love to see/photograph in particular: the Royal Walnut Moth. Why? Because we encountered that species' freakish caterpillar stage last fall (read my post about the Hickory Horned Devil and you'll see where my bravery ends when it comes to picking up wild creatures).
When I went to crop this down, I noticed several things. There's a strand of one of our dog's fur on the right wing, just above the eyespot; that right eyespot looks a little smudged; and the left wing looks a little wet. Hmmmm... now that I think about it, this moth did quite a bit of fluttering around before I got him where I wanted him for photographing, and one of the places he landed was right in front of Emmett, who gave him a big lick, so that would explain his roughed-up appearance. Mystery solved!