Caterpillar ID Please

johnweh(10 Boca Raton FL)June 22, 2010

I found this caterpillar on my poblano pepper after it ate 1 of the peppers & almost all of the leaves. This is the 2nd one I found in 3 days. These gluttons seem to be able to eat 10 times their own body weight in 1 day. An ID or tips on eliminating these critters would be appreciated.


Here is a link that might be useful: Link to caterpillar photo

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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

That's a hornworm. Easily picked and thrown somewhere where the birds will love you forever.

Some years ago when I had the landscape business, I had a client with a pet rat and I trained it by rewarding it with hornworms. Very happy rat after he learned to grab the horn first - a left-pawed rat, BTW.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 2:27PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

It's a Tobacco hornworm.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 5:50PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The best hint we could give if for you to learn to spot these guys when they are much younger (and smaller), and pluck them off. They don't travel in large packs like some caterpillars, but one can do considerable you have learned. Be observant.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 11:32PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

I bought a UV led flashlight and go out at night to look for them. The white lines on their sides really light up.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 1:41AM
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People often wonder about finding these Tomato or Tobacco Hornworms on Potato or Pepper plants but since they are members of the same family as Tomatoes it only stands to reason they would be there. These are the larva of either the Carolina Sphinx or the Five Spotted Hawkmoth.
Small numbers of these pests, or control on a small number of plants is best achieved by picking the buggers off the plants by hand, or squishing them, or cutting them in half. However, if you find one that has what looks like small bits of rice sticking out of its back leave it alone since that one has been parasitized by a wasp and is being eaten alive.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 7:31AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

That's a good tip about the UV flashlight! As big as these darned thing are, they can be difficult to spot.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 4:29PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

These guys will do their share of damage. Here in AZ. the Sphinx moth is crutial to our night blooming cactus, so I plant one tomato off to the side of the yard, and move them to it.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 9:23PM
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There are hundreds of Sphinx moths and the one needed for your night blooming cacti most likely will not be either the Five Spotted Hawkmoth or the Carolina Sphinx. Many people, on hearing that the Hummingbird Moth is a Sphinx mistakenly would tell people to not kill those Tomato Hornworms because that would kill off the Hummingbird Moths. The larva of the Hummingbird Moth does not live on members of the Solanacea (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, tobacco) family.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 8:05AM
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