With the help of a brave assistant, I was able to capture this photo of a stinging caterpillar which was hanging at eye-level with me, about 2 feet away. I grabbed Linda's camera and started shooting. Her camera does a decent job of macro photos but it was a challenge with the tiny stingers on this guy. See the picture below for a more detailed shot of the stingers.
In the picture below he is just finishing up one-half of the leaf -- the leaf is coming out at you in a plane straight out from the center of his head. He has his mandibles one on either side of the leaf as he chomps down. The hand-looking thing holding onto the leaf is his thoracic legs for holding food.
If you look very. closely at the ends of the green spines, you will see black and white stingers -- if you've ever been stung by one of these guys, you will definitely keep your distance in the future
Lagniappe -- I posted a picture on Pixel Eyed that shows the identifying characteristic of these caterpillars -- a red and white stripe running down both sides which you can just barely see on the left top of this guy.
-- steve buser