Giant Silkworm Moth Caterpillar (Lonomia obliqua) front view
This photo of the so-called "Assassin Caterpillar" shows the proportions of the enormous spikes compared to the head. With the bug only inches away from my head, I realize back then that it was deadly. Ignorance is bliss :)
''Lonomia obliqua'' is a species of Saturniid moths from South America. It's famous for its larvae form, rather than the adult moth, for several reasons. Recently announced in an episode of the Discovery Channel, known as the “assassin caterpillar,” this caterpillar has a spine-covered back filled with venom, and has been responsible for several deaths, especially in southern Brazil. This caterpillar has also been in numerous medical studies.