Black hornworm?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Ravenlost, Sep 6, 2005.

  1. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was picking hornworms off the tomatoes this evening for the chickens and found a black one! It was only about an inch long with white stripes and a red horm...just like the green ones only black. At first I thought it was dead and shriveled up, but it was definitely alive.

    Anyone ever seen a black hornworm before?
     
  2. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    I hope you didn't kill it. It sounds like it might be a type of swallowtail.
     

  3. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    OOPS...I didn't kill it. A chicken did!
     
  4. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Black hornworms with red horns are tobacco hornworms. The tomato hornworm is green with a black horn. Both are larvae of a sphinx moth/hawk moth/hummingbird moth. Eventually it would have become one of many mentioned on this site: www.whatsthatbug.com/clearwing_moth.html

    Martin
     
  5. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hmmm...now I'm confused. All the hornworms I've been picking off the tomatoes are green with red horns, which I thought were actually tobacco hornworms. I haven't had any hornworms with black horns, just one black one with a red horn like his green brothers!

    In my garden, anything that eats my vegetables is then eaten by my chickens!
     
  6. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    It indeed can be confusing, especially when both may be found on the same plant! Officially, the tobacco hornworm has 7 diagonal stripes on the side and a red tail. The tomato hornworm has 8 V-shaped markings and a blue-black tail. The black vs. green adult color is somewhat variable but the tobacco hornworm is usually much darker. Stripes vs. Vs are evident here: www.colostate.edu/Depts/CoopExt/4DMG/Pests/tomato.htm

    Martin