Look what we found last night

catherinet(5 IN)August 16, 2011

This is so cool. It was really hard to catch a shot of this little (big) guy, but here's a fairly decent one. He has a wing span of about 3-4".

I believe its a Carolina Sphinx moth.

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catherinet(5 IN)

I'm not very good at this, but here's a try at enlarging and sharpening the pic.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 10:05AM
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bob_71(z7 MD)

You're doing very well!

Bob

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 10:49AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

They are such fabulous moths. Have you been sacrificing your tomatoes to their caterpillars, lol!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 12:33PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Great picture, Catherine!

Sherry

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 12:48PM
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TomatoWorm59

Carolina, all right! Fantastic photo, too. Do you have any tomatoes, peppers, eggplant or even Datura or Brugmansia for the larvae of this species?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 3:40PM
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ronkw(8b LA)

WOW...Great shot!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 5:39PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks everyone. I have tomatoes and peppers, but sure haven't seen any larvae. Do they like anything else?
I've been looking over my tomatoes and haven't seen anything, unfortunately. I even have some milkweed growing in the garden and saw some poop........but it wasn't even monarchs, but rather tussock moth cats (I think??). Its been an upside down summer this year.
We saw this Carolina moth a few nights ago at dusk, and got all excited.......but then saw a bird chasing it! We were very happy to see it had survived. We were standing on the deck cheering for it........"GO!!!....RUN!!!!"

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 6:02PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Some further reading shows me that the cats I'm seeing on the milkweed are Milkweed Tussock moths. That's why they're on the milkweed! Learn something new every day!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 10:20PM
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bettyd_z7_va(7)

That is too cool!

Is its eyes really purple?

Betty

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 11:05PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'll bet that if you look closely, you'll find some tomato hornworm eggs on your tomatoes, if not the caterpillars. Tomatoworm pretty much mentioned the plants that are host to the Tomato Hornworm (aka Carolina hornworm).

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 12:33AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Very cool! What a long proboscis that moth has!

I haven't seen any cats on my tomatoes for years, but if I did I would gladly sacrifice a tomato plant. To hear people talk on the tomato and other forums, you would think these caterpillars were the biggest scourge on tomatoes there is!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 7:44AM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

Very cool that you got to see one nectaring Catherine.

I've only found two tomato hornworms this year. I'm convinced that those things pop out of an egg that's the size of a golf ball because I never spot them until they're huge and have nearly eaten a whole plant. lol
I moved them from my Cherokee Purple tomato plants to my volunteer cherry tomatoes which I always have too many of. I don't mind if they eat those and I don't worry about them multiplying out of control. They just don't. They have too many enemies. I never find more than one or two every summer.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 8:37AM
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TomatoWorm59

Actually, the Carolina is the tobacco hornworm. It is by far, the most common of any Manduca species.

I wish someone could get some real TOMATO hornworms, rear them, and send me live pupae for a start of breeding stock for them. Their cats are also pretty, even if not so pleasant to touch. Tobacco worms are baby skin soft. Tomato worms are tough and leathery.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 5:26AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

I'm not sure I've seen a tobacco hornworm. Are they on tomatoes too? I've had a tomato hornworm hiss at me. Well.....its more of a click, when I would pick it up.
Still haven't had any this summer on my maters. Very unusual.
Might have something to do with the Pewee (bird) I have guarding my garden.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 11:39AM
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