What do sphinx moths love to lay eggs on?

nopeda123September 6, 2013

I'm container growing tomatoes and noticed droppings on the ground. Then noticed that leaves were being devoured and went on to learn that it was tobacco hornworms:

http://tammysrecipes.com/tomato_hornworms

and the mother is a sphinx moth. Since it's a called a tobacco worm instead of the tomato worm, does that mean they like tobacco better than tomatoes? I'm wondering if I can plant a tobacco plant or two and the mothers will lay their eggs on them instead of on the tomatoes. Does anyone know if they like tobacco, or anything else, better than tomatoes?

Thanks for any help!
David

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

David, the tomato/tobacco hornworms can be found on pretty much any plant in the Solanaceae family.....tomatoes, potatoes, tobacco, pepper, eggplant, and even some Solanaceous weeds.

I predict that if you plant tobacco seeds you will have these hornworms on your tobacco AND tomato plants.

The key to preventing a lot of damage is to expect these insects to show up and to be on the lookout for the eggs. Smush them and you'll not have to worry.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 2:11PM
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nopeda123

> The key to preventing a lot of damage is to expect these
> insects to show up and to be on the lookout for the
> eggs. Smush them and you'll not have to worry.

Where do you look for the eggs? I have enough trouble finding the 3 inch long worms. It only happened once this year, and I found 7 or 8 about 3 inches long and one that was only about an inch. I believe that got all of them because I've seen no more droppings and no more devourestation. But how do you find the eggs?

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 3:58PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The eggs look like tiny, round pearls and are found on the upper and lower surface of the leaves. The adults deposit them one at a time, never in clusters.

They are very small....like the head of a pin. The baby caterpillar hatches from those eggs, which should tell you how long they have been feeding on your tomatoes to get that large. It pays to be observant.

My advice to you is to Google Tobacco Hornworm Eggs. You'll find many educational links with lots and lots of pictures. Knowledge is power.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 6:04PM
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surya55_gw

Rhizo,

I wonder if you can tell me what laid a cluster of small white eggs on the underside of a leaf on my tomato plant? I should've taken a picture but tossed it out quickly. The hornworm eggs are laid individually, right?

Thanks
Nerry

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 4:12PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Nerry, T. Hornworm eggs are deposited individually. The cluster of white eggs could be from a number of possibilities. The exceedingly common brown marmorated stinkbug comes to mind first.

Unless some magnification is offered, it can be difficult to ID a cluster of 'small white eggs ' from a photo.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 6:34PM
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surya55_gw

OMG- You sure do your insects' laying habits:-) Do you know, I've been plagued with stinkbugs ALL summer. I chase them away and they come back... I'm pretty sure they belonged to one of those stinkies. Now another one, twice something's laid a brown chain of eggs onto the stems of my herbs, namely parsley and oregano. It looks like a row of hemstitch. Any ideas? Many thanks, Rhizo.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 4:30PM
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terrene(5b MA)

The Black Swallowtail caterpillar (Papilio polyxenes) lays eggs on parsley, but usually one at a time on the underside of the parsley leaves (as well as dill, fennel, rue, Zizia, carrot, etc.)

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 10:01PM
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surya55_gw

Thanks Terrene but I think this was something else that laid those eggs...

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 8:39PM
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