Thursday, June 19, 2008

Green stinger

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


TOG said...

Along with that critter we have the Saddleback and Puss, three dangerous caterpillars that can really hurt. The Saddleback is the most common here in Coral Gables.

Anonymous said...

Golly. What kind of butterfly does he turn into?

I have never seen anything like this with stingers until now. Amazing.

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Hilda said...

Eew! That is one exceptionally nasty caterpillar! The hair on my arms are standing on end!

Fantastic photos though!

photowannabe said...

Well I learned something new today. I never heard of a stinging caterpiller before. His green "furry" outer part is fascinating too. The world has so many strange critters.
Thanks for showing it.

Wanda said...

Oh what a scary looking little bugger!!

I curious too, as to what kind of butterfly he will become !!!

Ackworth Born said...

We have a few caterpillers but nothing at all like this I'm glad to say.

lv2scpbk said...

It definitely blends in with the greenery. Nice shots.

Thiên said...

I've seen other types of caterpillers that sting but not this one. I am grossly fascinating. The thought of him makes me shiver. But what great shots of him, Steve. :-|

Eki Qushay Akhwan said...

awsome details. looks like a monster!