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Ozark Lady
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:28 pm
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

It was glued to the leaf, and hanging down from it. When I went to knock it off with the stick, it just fell apart, kind of like paper does that has burned black. Except it had this black liquid, inside it.

I looked for more like that, thinking I could get a pic of it, and disect it to see what was going on here.

I was watering, just before I had to cook supper, so no time to search really close. I will seek out more of these strange black hornworms.

Funny mine are tomato hornworms on the tobacco, they have the tomato markings. And you have the tobacco hornworms on tomatoes... :lol:
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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sheeshshe
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Location: maine

hmmm. yeah, I think it did look like a cutworm! bah! now I'm extra irritated that it got away! (shh I didn't say that part earlier)... the kids took my bucket to bring the worms to the chickens and didn't give it back so I started tossing caterpillars out of the garden and gather them afterwards but yeah, cutworm left his leaf. figures. and I couldn't find it. GRRRR!!!!

now whats he going to do to my garden? he better not flatten something or I'm going to be all :evil:

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

In my garden, the climbing cutworms usually eat the fruits of tomatoes and the peppers.

OL, what you describe suggests to me that the hornworm was indeed struck down by a Garden Patrol -- it could've been a regular wasp too. It was glued to the leaf because it lost body fluid. External attack due to wasp or bird biting at it, or internal emergence of predatory fly larva. Did you see one or more long sticky spider silk like strings trailing from the carcass? If you did, then definitely tachinid fly maggots rappelling down to the ground.

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Ozark Lady
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:28 pm
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

Nope nothing, just the leaf, and the big black hornworm that exploded on contact hanging down from it.
I do have regular wasps on patrol in the main garden, and lots of toads, no other helpers have been seen this year. I know, just because I havent seen them doesn't mean they aren't there.

For your missing cutworm, if it isn't anywhere on the plant, look in the soil right at the plant base. Some cutworms spend the hot days in the soil at the base of the plant. And sometimes you will just have to wait till twilight when they come out to feed to find them.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

OL, I was studying Monarch caterpillar and chrysalis deaths, and came across this information . It sounds a lot like your exploding hornworms.

Here's a wiki article : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_Polyhedrosis_Virus
And a photo from the same article:
Image

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