User avatar
Weedeater
Full Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 1:40 pm
Location: East Texas

ID a worm please?

He'd be kind of cute if he didn't have such a voracious appetite. He ate this whole darn plant overnight. I have never seen anything like the little critter (about 1" long, maybe 1 1/4" straightened out)

Anyway, here's some pics. Please tell me if you know ought about 'him' and his haunts & habits- and how to be and stay shut of him!

Here he is at the scene of the crime with his victim!
(He had got hold of a rock there and was holding on to it for dear life!)
I think my close ups will give you all all the detail you might desire.

[img]https://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/nothernug/Home%20and%20Garden/aBUG003.jpg[/img][/img]

Some more shots.
[img]https://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/nothernug/Home%20and%20Garden/aBUG009.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/nothernug/Home%20and%20Garden/aBUG012.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/nothernug/Home%20and%20Garden/aBUG010.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/nothernug/Home%20and%20Garden/aBUG014.jpg[/img]

Eagerly awaiting your replies with all due gratitude.
Thanks!

User avatar
Rogue11
Senior Member
Posts: 202
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:22 pm
Location: Orange County, California

Looks like a tomato horn worm. Great pictures by the way.
They will eat tomatoes and their leaves as well as pepper and eggplants. As you already noticed they have quite an appetite and can defoliate your plants easily.
I usually pick them off by hand if I find them in my garden. if you find one there are probably more around. they can blend in easily, so look also for their droppings on and beneath plants.

ruggr10
Green Thumb
Posts: 352
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 7:53 pm
Location: Brunswick, Maine

Ahhhh! I hate tomato hornworms.... They are quite beautiful, but just like a beautiful woman, they can be devastating!

gumbo2176
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3065
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:01 am
Location: New Orleans

Those things have voracious appetites. In one night, one of those horn worms almost totally defoliated the top 1/3 of a 4 ft. tomato plant a month or so ago. They do blend in very well to the leaves and stems like mentioned.

Not long ago someone posted a pic of one of these pests with larvae attached to it that looked like tiny grains of rice all over the body. Do not kill the ones that look like that since they are infested with parasitic larvae that will eventually kill the horn worm and hatch and go on to infest and kill more horn worms. Mother Nature's Pest Control at work.

User avatar
Francis Barnswallow
Green Thumb
Posts: 696
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:28 pm
Location: Orlando

Killed 2 of those this morning. I've never had an issue with these worms before but this year I've killed around 20 so far. :?

User avatar
Weedeater
Full Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 1:40 pm
Location: East Texas

Rogue11 wrote:Looks like a tomato horn worm. Great pictures by the way.
They will eat tomatoes and their leaves as well as pepper and eggplants. As you already noticed they have quite an appetite and can defoliate your plants easily.
I usually pick them off by hand if I find them in my garden. if you find one there are probably more around. they can blend in easily, so look also for their droppings on and beneath plants.
Thanks on the pics. One year 'Mom' said I could get a digital camera for my Christmas present. I had specific wants and had to buy used. I settled on this Olympus C770 "Ultra-zoom." Macro to 3/4" and 10x optical zoom with Olympus lens. It has served me well for several years now and continues to do so as you see.

Nice cat btw. We had one like it when I was young. Named him "Buffy" when he was a kitten. At 15+ scarred pounds and the baddest cat in the county, "buffy" just didn't seem to fit so I just called him Tom. :)

Our big boy now is named Rocky after Bullwinkle's flying squirrel. I guess because his sib was named Bullwinkle? A friend gave the two cats to us and after a few days Bullwinkle was never seen again but Rocky has become a fantastic member of the family and is a pretty good mouser for a Tom (with the occasional rabbit thrown in).
[img]https://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/nothernug/Home%20and%20Garden/Rockyschair3-09.jpg[/img]


Thanks y'all on this worm. Is there a way to treat to head them off or is the best bet just daily inspection and pluck 'em where you find 'em?

gumbo2176
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3065
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:01 am
Location: New Orleans

I just pluck them and dispose of them. I don't get too many and I really prefer to not spray unless things really get out of hand--like last summer when I awoke one morning to find literally thousands of stink bugs eating everything in my garden.

User avatar
veteran
Full Member
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:24 pm
Location: Zone 9

I found a perfect use for your worm.... TEQUILA!!!

[img]https://location3-beta.location3.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/tequila-worm.gif[/img]

User avatar
Halfway
Green Thumb
Posts: 600
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:48 pm
Location: Northern Rockies

They get big and go crazy on a tomatoe plant. I think they turn into a moth that mimicks a humming bird.

BT get's 'em, hehehehe. :twisted:
Zone 4a.

User avatar
Francis Barnswallow
Green Thumb
Posts: 696
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:28 pm
Location: Orlando

BT get's 'em, hehehehe.

I found another one this afternoon that was HUGE. I then plopped it on a hook and caught a 3 pound yellow bullhead catfish. My garden feeds my family and attracts bait. Catch and release of course.

User avatar
Rogue11
Senior Member
Posts: 202
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:22 pm
Location: Orange County, California

Weedeater wrote:
Thanks y'all on this worm. Is there a way to treat to head them off or is the best bet just daily inspection and pluck 'em where you find 'em?
Plugging them off is probably the best way to go. You can try catching the moths before they lay eggs with traps but you might also catch and kill beneficial insects that way.
I just found three of them today munching on my sunflower leaves. Didn't even know they also like sunflowers. But at least I am pretty sure they would have a hard time defoliating this baby in one night. :lol:

[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h317/Bailey1048/DSCN0511.jpg[/img]

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28047
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

It's actually a TOBACCO hornworm, evidenced by the diagonal line pattern:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=94346#94346

User avatar
Weedeater
Full Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 1:40 pm
Location: East Texas

applestar wrote:It's actually a TOBACCO hornworm, evidenced by the diagonal line pattern:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=94346#94346
Thanks. However I pursued it further and it appears the names, at least in the main, are interchangeable.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28047
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Differentiation according to this site :
https://www.coopext.colostate.edu/4dmg/Pests/tomato.htm

User avatar
Francis Barnswallow
Green Thumb
Posts: 696
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:28 pm
Location: Orlando

Rogue11 how old is that sunflower plant? I planted one a month ago and it's no taller than 8 inches.

User avatar
Rogue11
Senior Member
Posts: 202
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:22 pm
Location: Orange County, California

Francis Barnswallow wrote:Rogue11 how old is that sunflower plant? I planted one a month ago and it's no taller than 8 inches.
those two sunflowers were planted on march 23rd they grew slower until they reached about 3 feet and then more than a foot every week

User avatar
cherishedtiger
Green Thumb
Posts: 339
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:10 pm
Location: Sacramento, California

Yup had one completely destroy a bell pepper plant. Had 3 nicely growing peppers on it, went to bed, woke up the next morning to only having 1/2 a bell pepper left. I was heart broken!!! I hate those guys!!!
Because all things need to be cherished
*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
USDA zone 8A (guess it changed... not sure why I was a 9!)

User avatar
Francis Barnswallow
Green Thumb
Posts: 696
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:28 pm
Location: Orlando

cherishedtiger wrote:Yup had one completely destroy a bell pepper plant. Had 3 nicely growing peppers on it, went to bed, woke up the next morning to only having 1/2 a bell pepper left. I was heart broken!!! I hate those guys!!!

Thanks for the heads up. I didn't think they'd chow down on pepper plants. I've got 10 pepper plants growing nicely and producing. I'll keep an eye out for the horned worms because like I said previously, I'm killing them constantly.....at least 5 a day.

User avatar
TheWaterbug
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1068
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 9:15 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: ID a worm please?

Weedeater wrote:He'd be kind of cute if he didn't have such a voracious appetite.
[img]https://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y88/nothernug/Home%20and%20Garden/aBUG009.jpg[/img]
He is very cute, for a caterpillar. This shot looks like something from a police lineup, guilty look and all. He looks like he's holding something he stole.

So what happened to him? Boot heel? Formaldehyde jar? Terrarium?
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

User avatar
Weedeater
Full Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 1:40 pm
Location: East Texas

The little critter had got ahold of a pebble there and no desire to let go of it. We're simple folk so he succumbed to ye olde #10 work boot.

And thanks for the link specifying difference between mater & terbacky worms. :cool:

User avatar
TheWaterbug
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1068
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 9:15 pm
Location: Los Angeles

applestar wrote:It's actually a TOBACCO hornworm, evidenced by the diagonal line pattern:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=94346#94346
Wow. That guy died a horrible, horrible death. A boot heel would have been merciful.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

User avatar
vegetable-gardener88
Full Member
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 1:59 pm
Location: UK

Great picture, I'm sure he's smiling at the camera in one of them:) Don't have these in the UK. It looks very much like the UK caterpillars but prettier:)

garden5
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:40 pm
Location: ohio

One thing to note, though, is you will sometimes come across one of these with little whit "grubs" all over it. Leave these in the garden (worm and all).

The worm won't do much damage and the larvae will hatch into beneficial parasitic wasps.

Example: [img]https://us.123rf.com/400wm/400/400/sbonk/sbonk0606/sbonk060600063/442341-a-tomato-hornworm-with-wasp-eggs-a-wasp-has-injected-her-eggs-into-this-hornworm-when-the-eggs-hatch.jpg[/img]
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”