You Can't Blame A Hornworm For Trying.....

Okiedawn OK Zone 7July 3, 2012

Our high temp hit 101 a little while ago, but now has dropped down all the way to 100.9 degrees. It is hot out there.

So, if you were a little hornworm out in that heat, what would you do?

Would you hitch a ride into the air-conditioned house? This little guy did, climbing aboard Tim's shoe.

He's been returned to the garden where he belongs.

Hey, we're not heartless. We didn't kill it. We just sent it back outside to play.


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You didn't kill him but his days are numbered. Those are the egg cases of a parasitic wasp attached to him and when they hatch, the little larvae will crawl into him and, I can't bear to talk about it.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 6:18PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I know those are braconid wasp cases and that's one reason he went right back outside so that they can complete their life cycle. Not to be cruel, but that's our ecosystem at work. One of the little egg cases fell off the back of the hornworm when Tim pulled it off his shoe, and that case seemed empty, so that one might have hatched already, or it was a defective egg case.

There's a million more like that one out there. We have all kinds of sphinx here....tobacco, tomato, trumpet vine, virginia creeper, cherry, etc. This one had yellow stripes and a blue or black horn, so I'm guessing it is a trumpet vine sphinx.

I just thought it was very clever in managing to climb onto Tim's shoe without him even knowing it. He came inside, sat down in his recliner and then, after 10 minutes, said "is that something on my shoe?" to which I calmly replied "it's just a hornworm, honey". See, we have incredibly fascinating conversations around here.

I've had them come in on tomatoes and even on flowers before, before but never (as far as we know) on a shoe.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 6:49PM
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The larvae of the Plebeian Sphinx is very pretty IMHO, but the adult moth is rather drab looking.

I have Tobacco Hornworms showing up, laying eggs, on my Datura. Maybe I have moved them enough from tomato to Datura that they have finally decided to give up on the tomatos and go directly to the Datura now? Heehee!


    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 7:33PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


Well, hooray for that!

I did think the Plebe was pretty. I really wasn't paying too much attention to it, except I was laughing that it managed to climb onto Tim's shoe. He insisted he walked through the yard and didn't stop for a moment, except to put the end of the water hose into the lily pond to add some water to it for the fish and frogs. Well, the tornado shelter is right next to the pond, and you cannot even see the tornado shelter, except for the door, because it is hidden under a big mound of trumpet creeper vine. So, then I said, what color are its stripes, and he said "yellow" and then I knew what it was. He must have been standing close to the trumpet creeper vine as he put the hose in the pond...or the hornworm was crawling through the brown bermuda grass on its way to the trumpet creeper.

Y'all doing okay? Is your daughter doing better here lately? I expect the grandkids are having a fun summer?


    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 8:11PM
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DD is doing fine after being hospitalized for 10 days for the PE. She has to go for weekly blood tests to make sure her clotting rates are okay, and meds adjusted accordingly.

Charlotte and Kenna doing great. Thanks for asking, Dawn. This week, the plan is that I go on Tuesdays and Thursdays to help out, since Jess is feeling better. I need to do a lot of catch-up work in the garden. Tomatos are producing like crazy right now. But I expect that to wind down soon for the big ones as the greenies that set during cooler weather, blush and can be harvested. A few still producing, but that could end as the spider mites win the battle.

My biggest hornworm disappeared yesterday, so I am guessing he is pupating now. I didn't think he ever would. Everyday I kept thinking, "...he won't be here tomorrow" and everyday, seemed he still was.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 8:30PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I'm glad Jess is home and doing fine. I was concerned about her. PE's can be serious. (I don't have to tell you that!)

At least you should have some nicer, cooler weather to do the catch-up work in the garden, and maybe even some rain.

Spider mites are awful this year, and it is so hot that I am losing interest in spending much time in the garden. Well, I have been staying out there until about noon the least few days, but if the weather were nicer I'd be staying out all day.

It is a ridiculously wonderful tomato year, but I am not complaining. A good year wipes out memories of a year like last year somewhat.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 9:24PM
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