Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tomato Hornworm


I found this little gem while watering some flowers.  


Though my tomatoes haven't produced well this season, the cherry tomato crop has produced fairly well.  I also have several, "volunteer", tomato plants here and there.  



Hence, this worm found a profitable home for itself.  



Its body is full of Braconid Wasp eggs, thus it won't live much longer.  Many species of this type of wasp are used as biological pest control.  



The wasps will hatch and attack any other hornworms in the vicinity.  

Slightly handsome.....but, just too destructive.  





36 comments:

  1. I forget the difference between these and the tobacco horn worm...can't say that I think they are handsome at all.

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  2. Wow, I have never seen that before, cool, yet disturbing. The circle of life in action! ;)

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  3. My goodness...what a strange thing......

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  4. Ew! I know the worm well, but have never seen the wasp eggs before! Yikes...what a way to go!

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  5. Kind of cute, but nature does have to take it's course, of course!

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  6. It is interesting how nature works. Great closeup images!

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  7. We used to have those in my parents' garden. My mother would pick them off. I was always way too grossed out to touch one.

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  8. I think it is a very cool caterpillar - and very interesting about the "pest control" wasps!

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  9. Oh dear, this was a creepy one! Nature is really interesting...
    Have a happy week!

    Titti

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  10. Oh wow...you found one with all of the "rice" on it. Earlier this summer I found the "without rice" version eating my tomatoes. They are certainly are grossly beautiful...well, in a way :)

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  11. Drummy eats so many things that a lot of these pests no longer survive in my garden.
    Merle...................

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  12. Oh, icky! Just creeps me out. My tomatoes aren't producing very well either...haven't seen any worms, thankfully.

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  13. So creepy when I find them disguised among the branches. Yuk-city.

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  14. He is a creepy destructive fellow. At least his days are numbered. Great photos.

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  15. i have never heard of that before but i am feeling a bit sorry for the poor guy!

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  16. I hate those worms--they can destroy a plant in a day or two. I've never seen one infested by wasp eggs before, though. I'm trying to decide if I feel sorry for it.

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  17. Ewwww.. ick! I can't stand caterpillars like that.

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  18. Very educational posting with the photos.

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  19. I used to get those worms, but never covered in eggs like that. They do gross me out some and I would cut off the entire branch they were on and throw the whole thing in the trash. The one with a lid. In the summer.

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  20. They are the creepiest of all. It was my chore when I was a kid [one of my many chores] to go out into the 1 acre garden each day and look for those nasty worms. I STILL to this day never wanna see one again. But they DO LOVE tomato plants.

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  21. Unas imágenes, muy bonitas...un saludo desde Murcia...

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  22. They turn into nifty hawk moths, I believe. The wasps are like the creature in Alien.
    ~

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  23. So we have a good chance to see never the "tomato hornworm moth" because the caterpillar is (internally?) devoured by these wasp maggots!?!?!

    To live and let die. That's what already Ian Fleming and James Bond knew... ;-)

    Uwe.

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  24. I agree about the 'destructive', not about the 'handsome'... Not even slightly!

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  25. Sounds like a terrible fate is awaiting him! I've never seen a caterpillar with wasp eggs on it!

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  26. Even though I hate those darned hornworms, that photo makes me want to wretch.

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  27. Oh my gosh I thought those were the worms eggs. What a horrible fate for that poor worm.

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  28. Oh, that's icky! Interesting, but icky!

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  29. Definitely not a pretty sight in this post, Michelle, but as others have commented many things in nature are dinner for others. This critter is destructive all on its own, but seeing all those eggs and reading of its demise was unsettling too.

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