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rainbowgardener
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ID this cocoon?

I was just turning ground for planting and dug this up. Some kind of cocoon/ pupa. It looks familiar, like I should know it, but not coming up with it.

It is alive; it moved when I set it down there. For now I put it in a jar.
garden cocoon.jpg
I should say it was a few inches down in the soil.
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applestar
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Re: ID this cocoon?

Does it have a crooked hook ? If so likely candidate is hornworm (hawkmoth) but it could also be a different sphinx moth
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ButterflyLady29
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Re: ID this cocoon?

Sphinx moth of some type. I've never found any way to differentiate between pupas. I know that some can be identified by the shape of this thing or that or by looking at characteristics under a microscope but unfortunately I've not been able to get that far in my studies. But if you had tomatoes near that spot last year the Tomato hornworm is most likely.

I had a similar looking pupa in a container last year. Poor thing never did come out. Not sure what happened, maybe I didn't cover it with enough soil, maybe I let it dry out too much. I don't know. I was really sad because I wanted to know what it was. It wasn't near the garden so I'm sure it wasn't a hornworm.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: ID this cocoon?

Yes, I think so, the tomato hornworm/ sphinx moth. The bed I found that in did have tomato plants in it last year. Such a shame ... the sphinx moth is pretty, but the hornworm is so destructive.
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ButterflyLady29
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Re: ID this cocoon?

Yes, they are beautiful moths. I had a bunch of hornworms on my tomatoes last year which ate blooms, leaves and tomatoes. Then they were eaten from inside by wasps. Hopefully next year I'll be able to keep up with pest picking before the situation gets bad. But I did get enough tomatoes to make a few pints of salsa and some for fresh eating.

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