How big is it? I think it's a Lo moth. My book says it's wingspan is 2 3/4 inches. Also says the caterpillar's spines cause a painful stinging. They spin a thin flimsy coocoon among debris on the ground. Very pretty for a moth.
You are clever Poppysue!! The wingspan is as you say. About the sting! In my 'other' garden I was cutting back hydrangeas and something stung me - almost like a wasp sting - I blistered a bit but the pain went on for what seemed like an eternity. So you think this is the culprit?
The Io moth caterpillar is very spiney and sting feels like a wasp. The caterpillar is big though, and you would have seen it. There is something called a "saddleback" caterpillar (we call them "pack saddles") that feels like a burn, like a cigarette ash fell on you. The burning lasts for hours and makes blisters. These make an ugly brown moth. They like to hide in foliage, especially corn and grasses.They are very good at camaflouge, and are green, flat and slug like, with a brown patch on their backs. I used to hate to gather corn when I was little, I always got stung.