tomato hornworm

Mistaken Identity- Just changed the name on this post. Last night I read that the difference between tobacco hornworms and tomato hornworms were the strips on their bodies. Tobacco hornworms have straight line strips and tomato hornworms have stripes that are in a V formation. This morning one of the little fellows had flipped over to eat face down in my tomato and I could see the V formation. The mnemonic is V for vine ripe tomatoes for tomato hornworms and straight lines like a cigarette for tobacco hornworms. Who cares. I know but I find this stuff fascinating. I am sure my family will too:) And here is another interesting fact: Farmers use a wasp to deal with them. The braconidae wasp larvae moves in on the worm and paralyzes it. Gross way to go, paralyzed with larvae feeding off you. I wonder if these same farmers know without a doubt that this same little wasp might not like other humans or pets or helpful insects. Seems a bit reckless to me.
I don't mind sharing with all God's creatures, I am not growing for profit obviously, but these fellows are greedy. My big beautiful tomato bush has been reduced to stems in just two days and my tomatoes are being gobbled up. Too late to prevent it so might as well watch the show, right? I had no idea they could destroy a plant so quickly. We'll be on hummingbird moth watch soon.

tomato hornworm
Click on album cover for more pictures. On another insect related note. I am reading Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behavior. It's about Monarch butterflies and climate change and other stuff. It's in my nook library if you want it, family


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