What the heck did I kill? Hornworm?

driftwoodtx(10 - Los Angeles)May 20, 2010

Hi, all.

I noticed a fuzzy like substance on the back of a tomato leaf and couldn't figure out what it was. When I cut the leaf off, I noticed what looked like a worm hiding under a fibrous cocoon-like webbing. Of course, I had to get the camera out as I'm obsessed with learning about my garden pests, both friend and foe.

I googled for the last two hours trying to find similar photos and came up empty.

Was this a hornworm? Other caterpillar? What stage of life was it in (or, if you have a link you can direct me to, I'd like to learn more.)

Thanks for any input you can provide.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

That's a pupa. It was a caterpillar (but not a hornworm) before this and will be a moth in the next stage of its life.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 11:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
driftwoodtx(10 - Los Angeles)

Thanks Jean. That gave me the clues I needed to learn more about the stages of caterpillars. I know I studied this in school about 50 years ago, but my memory isn't that good. ;-)

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 3:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
heidiho(St. Martinville, La. Zn.8)

I have this too; so what do we use to kill these catapillars?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 11:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
driftwoodtx(10 - Los Angeles)

Heidi -

I just look for them and take off the entire leaf if it is in the cocoon like threads. I found one on my peppers the other day, too. I guess you could just leave them as they are done with their feeding stage and can't harm your plant (until the next generation - moth, egg, new caterpillar).

I had a pretty bad case of cabbage loopers (small green inchworms) and I sprayed once with Thuricide which has kept most of those at bay. That product should also work to repel larger caterpillars and hornworms.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 4:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
johnpeter(10b LongBeachCA)

Hornworms supposedly pupate in the soil, so that rules out your candidate as a hornworm.
http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/field/hornworm.htm

I have been growing tomatoes in Southern California for some 15 years now, and hornworms are infrequent but always shocking uninvited guests... found typically in the late season. In spring, I find cabbage loopers, which are far more numerous but smaller and not capable of defoliating a plant as quickly as hornworms. I have used a permeathrin-based insecticide to knock out cabbage loopers when they are too numerous to hand-erradicate. Hornworms demand only an exercise in visual perception and extrication; chemicals are not necessary. They are extremely well-camouflaged and tend to line up on plant stems. Cabbage loopers do their dirty deeds on the undersides of leaves. Watch for black poops as they betrays the presence of these masters of camouflage. Cabbage loopers "get around" on the plant rather deftly, so they will likely have moved or disappeared by the time you react to a poop discovery.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 7:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
driftwoodtx(10 - Los Angeles)

Thanks, johnpeter. I'm also in southern California.

I have yet to find a hornworm or fruitworm (knock on wood) but I have lots of cabbage loopers. I've gotten pretty good at spotting them but yesterday I found a whole slew of eggs that I think were looper eggs. I disposed of the leaf as it was covered with eggs and a phids. (pic below)

If the Thuricide (BT) doesn't prove to be adequate, I may try the permeathrin.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 12:12AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Tomatoes - yellow leaves and one plant starting to become droopy
Hi guys, I'm a novice gardener in Queensland and have...
tommytomatoes
Sick tomato plants
Some of my tomatoes look really sick. Is this a disease?...
JaneMacG
Tomatoe Seedling HELP
Hi My Tiny Tom tomato seedlings sprouted about three...
Julian Almond
Tomato Wilt
Which Heirloom varieties are wilt resistant
oldgardenguy_zone6
Indoor tomatoes in trouble, help iD
Hi guys! Could you please tell me what you think the...
Mikhail Evtushenko
Sponsored Products
Home Decorators Area Rug: Pockets Blue 2' x 3'
$23.00 | Home Depot
MTI Andrea 19 Tub (54" x 32" x 19")
Modern Bathroom
I Like Polka Dots Throw Pillow
$29.99 | Dot & Bo
OK LIGHTING Lamps 33 in Bronze Windance Floral Table Lamp OK-9143-T2
Home Depot
LZF | I-Club Table Lamp
YLighting
Dot Coffee Press - Brown - Stelton
$75.00 | HORNE
Dualit 47165 New Generation 4 Slice Classic Toaster - Canvas White - 47165
$319.99 | Hayneedle
Chooty and Co. Nichole Red 17 x 17 in. Decorative Throw Pillow - Set of 2 - PSET
$54.99 | Hayneedle
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™