This is the caterpillar of the imperial moth (Eacles imperialis). The imperial moth is one of the largest moths in the Southeast. The caterpillars feed on the foliage of pines, oaks, maples, sweetgum, and sassafras as they develop. When they are ready to pupate, they climb down from the trees and burrow into the soil. When pupation is complete, they emerge from the soil and expand their wings before flying away. Here is a great page from UF with more info.
What Is It? Wednesday? – Imperial Moth Caterpillar
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