Tomato hornworms

S noticed this half eaten cherry tomato – & then noticed the worm.  Hornworms love tomatoes and as you can see, they are really hard to spot.  A single worm can decimate a moderate size plant in two days.

The hornworm is the larva of the  five-spotted hawkmoth (Manduca quinquemaculata.)

They can grow quite large.  You can see my thumbnail & thermacell (mosquito repeller) for scale. I’d say this one was about 4″ long.
Their name is derived from the red horn on their tail (left in this photo, visible in front of a tomato.) the white dots at the other end are the mandibles.

In the other garden, as I was removing the Romas I noticed these green pellets under the plants.

Then I noticed this frass (bug poop.)

A closeup of a pellet.

A little more searching and I discovered the source of the frass (the pellets are dried frass.) I found two on one of the Romas. I’ll inspect the cherry tomatoes more carefully tomorrow for more.


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