what type of hornworm is this?

atascosa_tx(8b)May 15, 2007

The markings don't match that of any Tomato or Tobacco hornworm I have ever seen. Caught these lil boogers on my zucchini squash and tomato plants.

Thanks in advance

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Zoiks! Good Gracious! Daaaaammmmmbbbb!!! what a catch!!!!
I aint gotta clue.....well wait n see from the others.....

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 8:52PM
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anney(Georgia 8)


What a beautiful picture. It isn't a tomato hornworm. It looks like a White Lined Sphinx (also called the Striped Morning Sphinx) Caterpillar. Check out the Caterpillar page linked below. I'm pretty sure that's it about 2/3s of the way down the page. They become Hummingbird Moths.

Here's another description with pictures.

Here is a link that might be useful: Caterpillar page

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 9:02PM
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Uh... I suppose there are different kinds of hornworm, but those look an awful lot like the ones I picked off of the family tomato plants when I was a kid. Mine were pretty big. It was amazing to watch how fast they could scarf down leaf after leaf.

Better go looking for more. They travel with entourages.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 9:03PM
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Yeah, I was just gonna say that regardless of the way it's stripes run and the color of it's horn, I bet that rascal can defoliate a limb on a tomato plant in short order.

Who is that nice guy who shows up around here every year and collects those things ??? I bet that he knows exactly what you may call it.

I might offer to take a couple of them fishin with me if I could get the chance to go. ":^) Man, if you had a pocket full of them and another pocket full of them SVB maggots you could catch many fish, big and small!
Bill P.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 9:13PM
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anney(Georgia 8)

The Sphinx Moth caterpillars will eat most anything, and they aren't particularly choosy according to the information below:

"Two broods of white-lined sphinx caterpillars emerge each year. The caterpillar of the white-lined sphinx moth is quite omnivorous. While sometimes encountered as a pest, a variety of its hosts include weeds. Hence, these caterpillars may become beneficial in the eyes of humans. They rarely cause enough economic damage to merit control in western Washington. The principal hosts for the white-lined sphinx moth include apple, azalea, beets, buckwheat, chickweed, collards, currant, bitterdock, elm, evening primrose, fuchsia, gooseberry, grape, melon, pear, plum/prune, purslane, tomato, turnip, and several other range, forage, and truck plants. The tomato hornworm feeds on tomato and other plants of the Solanaceae family. The willow sphinx moth probably feeds exclusively on willow." -- Sphinx Moths/Hummingbird Moths

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 9:23PM
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Thats the one anney...ty so much....for the link...only found these on the plants in the ground so far...(x fingers) the ones in the containers seem to be sphinx free..thanks again.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 10:20PM
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Well, obviously you're all wrong. Its the dreaded variegated, giant tomato hornworm and a classic heirloom having been bred by the CantGrow'aMater tribe from 200 years ago ..........
(careful, I bruise easy..)

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 5:15PM
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sammyqc(NE Quebec/zn 4/5a)

They turn into such pretty moths. Can't you spare a few tomato plants??
I had a few dill plants that were completely disappearing a couple years ago, until I finally noticed some kind of swallowtail caterpillar on what was left of the plants. I looked them up, and decided the moths were so pretty that I could go without the dill and just let them be.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 8:14PM
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I'll be nice..Anney answered my question...and ty Anney
and the thought of sparing some tomato plants for the sake of the moth's larvae well being is not going to happen. Sorry..
Raised these maters from seeds..time and effort put in..if they wanna munch....munch somewhere else..not in my garden.
Found 4 more today and they met a new owner,,,fer some reason a co-worker is obsessed with watching caterpillers
go thru their stages and document it..so...the 4 have a chance to live only to pupate into a moth that will end up on his wall of moths...out of my hands..

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 12:02AM
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korney19(z6a Buffalo, NY)

Maybe they turn that way after eating some of Brad's psychedelic tomatoes... Berkeley Tie Dye, Large Barred Boar, etc. lol.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 12:13AM
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sammyqc(NE Quebec/zn 4/5a)

Oh, I was kidding about sparing a tomato plant. A dill plant is one thing....I understand about all the work put into a tomato. Wouldn't happen in my garden either, although I might give the kids a chance to raise em up!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 12:32AM
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no harm done Sammy,,gave them to a friend who wants to see them pupate..interesting..told him to make sure to put some dirt inside that pickle jar,,cause these boogers pupate underground and emerge later as moths...as does the other popular ones..some say tilling the ground causes 90% mortality rate for future generations..will do.
happy gardening..

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 11:15PM
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