The critter looked just like a dead leaf with its antennae curled back to look like a petiole, the stem part on a leaf that attaches to the tree. Its legs were also jagged and thickened in places to resemble a dried up leaf. Perfect camouflage! Below is a crop of John's picture that shows the legs up close.
I was really curious about this critter conundrum. What was this bizarre bug? I looked in some of my books. No luck! Then I looked through some pics on my favorite website BugGuide. Nope, I couldn't find it. There are so many moths out there, it can make one's head spin.
So finally I e-mailed Eric Eaton, otherwise known as Bug Eric. He is called Bug Eric because he is extremely knowledgeable about bugs and is the principal author for the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects. Wonderful book! I tend to "bug" Eric with all the unknown insects I find. And in return, he kindly obliges an answer and gently corrects my ID boo-boos.
When I told John Howard I was doing this post, he sent me a picture he had taken of Trumpet Creeper. How gorgeous! If you have this plant nearby, take a peek and see if you can find the caterpillars of this crazy moth!