Hornworms

Joined
Feb 13, 2005
Messages
1,709
Location
Macon, Ga.
I found and photographed these two on my tomato plants today. I also found this explanation on the web...

Tomato Hornworm - are 3-4" long green caterpillars with diagonal lines on sides, prominent horn on rear end. Eat foliage and may take bites out of green fruit. Tomato hornworms are the larvae of 2 large moths: the Hawkmoth and the Sphinx moth and overwinter in the soil in the pupal stage. Adult moths appear in late spring and lay single,
pearl colored eggs on the undersides of plant leaves that hatch in about a week. Larvae feed on foliage for about a month before they enter the soil and pupate. They can be difficult to spot as coloring matches plant. Look for them on the undersides of leaf-stripped branches. They can easily be hand-picked and destroyed or if infestation is severe, use Bt (Bacillius thuringiensis) dust.
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Braconid wasps will kill these caterpillars by implanting rice-like eggs on their backs and Trichogramma wasps parasitize the eggs.
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Both images with D100. Top photo with Tamron 28-75mm, bottom with Nikon 50mm and a plus 2 el cheapo closeup filter. Both at f/22.
Jarrell
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
994
Location
Alabama
I agree with Gordon Jarrell. Just goes to show one more time that it doesn't take a $3,000 camera and a $1,000 lens to get great shots. :wink:
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2005
Messages
8,677
Location
Alabama
I saw one of those in my garden yesterday...wasn't exactly sure what it was, but my 3 year old son was fascinated by "all the eyes"! I'll have to go back out tomorrow and see if it's still hanging around out there...Thanks for the biology lesson Jarrell!
 

gho

Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Messages
2,556
Location
California
Yikes.... Those are bugs! Nice looking portraits, but I'm just a bit skittish about bugs. Sorry.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
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Location
Denmark
I think those shots are great. And in their own way the caterpillars are quite beautiful too.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
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Location
Orlando, Florida
Great shots, Jarrell! I was always intrigued by these things. I would only see them when I planted tomato plants in the back yard. The years I didn't they wouldn't appear, only when I did a garden. Very weird!
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2005
Messages
1,709
Location
Macon, Ga.
Colorful though, aren't they

Kevin, the only time I've found them is when I plant a couple of tomato plants also. What I'd like to photograph is the small wasp in the act of doing this. Probably never happen.
Thanks all for your input.
Jarrell
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2005
Messages
1,709
Location
Macon, Ga.
I have sat and watched

wasps before, not the smaller variety that preys on these catapillars, the larger red ones. One day I noticed the wasp very slowly cruzing the branches of a hedge and when he found what he was looking for, a small catapillar, he quickly stung it then grasped it in his legs and flew off with it. You'd have to be fast to get a shot of that.. :)
Jarrell
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2005
Messages
300
Location
Phoenix
Great biology lesson, in addition to the photos. I wonder what Hannah would think of them? :Wink:
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
978
Location
Viera Fl
Jarrell

That is a beautful creature, without the decoration :>)).. Amazing markings. Also amazing how nature counter acts the distructive caterpillar. Ants and wasps, as I have found out do distroy alot of plant bugs, like aphids.

Great lesson.

Thank you.

Really good images.
 
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
197
Location
Tallahassee, FL, USA
Nice images.

Not only did they attack my tomato plants and fruit but they also like my habanero peppers.

I have noticed the birds don't seem to like them. At least in my area they don't eat them.

Russ
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
4,741
Location
SE Florida
Top notch work, Jarrell

The colors are so vivid, and the composition very creative. Kudos on the shots, and thanks for the entomology lesson!
 

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