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Metal melter
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This little guy just emerged during the night, I believe. He's about an inch long. I found him, and several others, in my greenhouse. I do not take kindly to trespassing hornworms. However, my chickens sure thought he was tasty!

 

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Metal melter
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katydidonce said:
Fascinating! If I've seen one in person, it was over 20 years ago; no pictures I've seen show the "horn".
If you look closely, you can see the "horn" in the shed skin too. I thought that was pretty cool.
 

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mammabooh said:
If you look closely, you can see the "horn" in the shed skin too. I thought that was pretty cool.
I actually did notice that but assumed it was part of his meal. So they have 2 horns at some point? That would make them true devils, wouldn't it? :doh:
 

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OMG - I think just found one of these that RUINED a bunch of my tomatoes. (Didn't notice a horn, though- and mine was more than 2" long)
Could one of these things denude a quarter of a large plant overnight???? (The leaves, I mean) My poor tomotoes.

But it is an awesome wormy thing. We were impressed. I thought it was a caterpillar. Kept meaning to look it up and kept forgetting.

edited to add: OK - I feel really dumb now. It is a the caterpillar of a sphinx moth. ...though when I looked it uup, not 100% sure it's what we had. Color was a little different.
 

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BlueHeron,
They can and DO strip a plant's leaves pretty much overnight -
regardless of the "cuteness factor", every one I find meets an early demise.....
 

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Yeah-- I relocated him - but was absolutely FLOORED by how many leaves he ate, not to mention how many tomatoes he started, but then left early to destroy other perfectly good ones. :flame:
 

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Yeah they can quickly wipe out a tomato patch.
They have black poop they deposit in little pellets that and the leaves dissapearing are usually the first signs I notice. Then I have to look and scan each plant really closely. I usually pull up a chair and sit and look up and down every leaf and stem looking for them. They blend in easily and you think you would notice these huge fat worms but nope they hide well.
They eat the leaves stems and tomatoes. They eventually turn into moths only after eating most of you plants. Their eggs are deposited into the soil and then hatch out into little worms.
There are tomato and tobacco hornworms. The difference is the color of their little horn.
And no the horn doesnt sting you it just looks mean. LOL :)



The tobacco hornworm larva (Manduca sexta) is generally green with seven diagonal white lines on the sides and a curved red horn (above). The tomato hornworms (Manduca quinquemaculata) have eight V-shaped marks on each side and their horn is straighter and blue-black in color (below). These "hornworms" are the larvae of hawk or sphinx moths, also known as hummingbird moths. The tobacco hornworm is the most commonly seen of the two, but both can be found in this region and may even be present on the same plant.

http://www.coopext.colostate.edu/4dmg/Pests/tomato.htm
 

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NickieL:

Those white cocoons (pupae) on the tomato hornworm in the picture are braconid parasitic wasp cocoons (pupae), which are very good for your garden as they kill the hornworms. It was a month or so ago when I found a hornworm with the same white cocoons (pupae) in my garden, so I took a few pix to try and find out what they were. That same night on PBS was a show about garden insects and they showed a braconid infested hornworm. They said when you find one like this to leave it in the garden as the wasps will suck the hornworm dry shortly and you'll have more wasps to boot!

However, any hornworms that don't have the wasps get a size 11 sneaker of death!

http://insects.tamu.edu/fieldguide/cimg329.html
 
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