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large yucky tomato horn worms
#36238 July 28th, 2005 at 12:29 AM
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I was just wondering about these giant green yuks! I have been gardening for 30 to 40 years in northern Indiana and have always had the big tomatoe worms,. Seems this year with hardly any rain the worms are more plentiful than ever. Also the worms were always plagued with the wasp eggs that look like rice kernels. This year I havent seen the rice kernels yet. Is this on acctount of no rain also? On 15 to 20 plants I have smooshed 30 of the green monsters. Whats up???? jcw


jcw
Re: large yucky tomato horn worms
#36239 July 29th, 2005 at 02:50 AM
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JIM2,
I know the egg like things on the catapillars
are sometype of preditory wasp thing...
That lays it's eggs on the catapillar, they host the eggs until it's time to hatch,
and they use the catapillar as lunch...

But, let me see if the BUGLADY can give gab you a much better teech answer crit than that!!!

Welcome to The Garden Helper by the way,
we're very glad you found us!!!

Theres' lot's to do here, so don't forget to peak
back at us here... there's something going on during every season... and especially during those long cold, blustery winters!!!


Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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Re: large yucky tomato horn worms
#36240 July 29th, 2005 at 02:59 AM
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here ya go!

braconid wasps


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Re: large yucky tomato horn worms
#36241 July 29th, 2005 at 03:03 AM
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Wow, that was F~>A~>S~>T!!!
Whew!!! I barely hit the send button..

Thanks!!!!

Great pictures by the way!!! thumbup thumbup thumbup flw


Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
Re: large yucky tomato horn worms
#36242 July 29th, 2005 at 09:26 PM
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Does anyone know if drought has anything to do with the quantity of hornworms or lack of wasps that go after the worms. jcw


jcw
Re: large yucky tomato horn worms
#36243 July 30th, 2005 at 09:59 AM
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well caterpillars are very susceptible to bacterial and viral diseases. with it as dry as it has been the weather has not been favoring diseases. that could be one reason. I am actually having fewer problems this year... but i have tobacco hornworms, which i suspect that most of you have. Just because they are eating tomatoes and have a horn does not make them tomato hornworms.

"The tobacco hornworm larva (Manduca sexta) is generally green with seven diagonal white lines on the sides and a curved red horn (above). The tomato hornworms (Manduca quinquemaculata) have eight V-shaped marks on each side and their horn is straighter and blue-black in color" from Hornworms

Look close at them!


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Re: large yucky tomato horn worms
#36244 July 31st, 2005 at 10:08 AM
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Thanks for the answer on the hornworms. Mine are the tobacco type. Must come up here from Kentucky or other tobacco growing states. Are the big Luna moths from the hornworms? I have seen only a few in 50 or so years. Thanks again JCW PS Could send a few dozen to PA for you... they sure ate up my plants and some tomatoes.


jcw
Re: large yucky tomato horn worms
#36245 July 31st, 2005 at 10:12 AM
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i have the tobacco ones... i need some of the tomato ones to photograph but cant seem to get them here.....

Lunas are not related to hornworms other then they are moths.. they belong to 2 different families.


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Re: large yucky tomato horn worms
#36246 August 3rd, 2005 at 05:40 AM
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Thanks for the info on all the above items. jcw


jcw
Re: large yucky tomato horn worms
#36247 August 5th, 2005 at 11:43 PM
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Ciao Buglady,

We have a pet tomato hornworm that our 6 yr old has named "Whalie" because he eats as much as a whale. He's got chevron stripes and a black horn. He stopped eating last Tuesday so I put 4" of pro-mix in his bug jar and he's buried himself into it, leaving tunnels so I can still see him. It's now Friday and he still looks like a caterpiller. When should we expect him to pupate? I've heard it can take as long as a month before he emerges as a Sphinx moth. I'd also like to know what to feed him once he emerges.

Grazie,
Julianna

Re: large yucky tomato horn worms
#36248 August 6th, 2005 at 12:20 AM
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One thing that always concerns me with bagged soil mixes is if any pesticides have gotten in the soil. I try and use soil from outside for insects if i am going to rear. Also make sure there are no paper towels. There is a chemical in paper towels that mimics an insect growth regulator, that can cause deformations.

As far as how long it can take, it depend on temperature but usually a few weeks. Make sure you have a stick or something for him to crawl up on once he comes out. He will need to have room to hang so his wings will dry, if not he could end up deformed.

They will feed on nectar as adults but i would let him go outside.

good luck!


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Re: large yucky tomato horn worms
#36249 August 6th, 2005 at 01:12 AM
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Ciao Buglady,

Thanks for the info. I was planning on putting normal garden soil in his bug jar, but we had a major thunderstorm the day he stopped eating. The pro-mix I used was new stuff, nothing had grown in it previously, so I'm hoping that's at least some good news. What sort of nectar do Manducas feed on, though? Would they get any from the tomato blossoms? I haven't seen any adults at all this season and I'm out in the garden at night sometimes tying up plants. We're planning on releasing him once he emerges but I'd love to observe him for a few days as an educational project for our 6 yr old.

Grazie,
Julianna

PS another FYI that I heard for anyone else who takes an interest in raising these critters instead of squishing them or otherwise killing them..whatever sort of bug container you use for a "cage"..make sure you clean it often as these guys eat a ton so they also poop a ton and I read that it's highly detrimental for their health to crawl around in their own waste..it's quite wet.

Re: large yucky tomato horn worms
#36250 August 6th, 2005 at 01:50 AM
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yeah they die easy from bacteria and fungal infections.. so clean cages are very imp.

You don't see the adults because they are most out at night.

i would make some sugar water and put on cotton ball in put that in for it to feed on.

keep in mind it will want to fly and being in small cage it might beat its wings up.


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Re: large yucky tomato horn worms
#36251 August 6th, 2005 at 02:09 AM
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Ciao Buglady,

Thanks again for good information. I was planning on putting him in a large terrarium once he's pupated. If I'm very careful, I figure I can do that without harming the crysalis. I planned on burying him again in about 4" of soil and this time if it hasn't rained recently, I can put garden soil in there. I know the bug jar he's in right now would be way small for a Sphinx. The other option would be to let him emerge and transfer the adult Sphinx to a larger container, but I thought moving the crysalis would be less potentially traumatic. Thoughts?

Grazie,
Julianna

Re: large yucky tomato horn worms
#36252 August 6th, 2005 at 02:21 AM
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when i worked at butterfly world we moved them around all the time.. just try to keep him oriented in the same direction.

also it can lay on the soil surface.. i have had them pupate like that before.


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Re: large yucky tomato horn worms
#36253 August 13th, 2005 at 04:23 AM
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Ciao Buglady,

I moved Whalie into a 12" plastic peanut butter tub with a circle of foil punched with 7 1/4" holes in the top. I put the soil he'd been under in the smaller bug jar plus another 2" that I pre-moistened on top. Then I put a 5" bamboo stick on top of the soil at ~45 deg. angle. The pupa was so cool-looking when I gently removed it from the smaller bug jar. It's about 3" long and a maroon colour. Whenever the jar is moved or inspected, the pupa wiggles, which lets me know that Whalie is still alive and doing fine. We don't get Munchkin for another 2 weeks so I'm hoping Whalie doesn't emerge before then.

Thanks for all the info ;o)

Julianna

Re: large yucky tomato horn worms
#36254 September 1st, 2005 at 09:47 AM
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Dear Buglady,
Thanks for this thread, you have answered my ??? when I found a green catapillar with a spiked fur coat this evening on my tomato plabt :_)
I ad an idea but wasnt sure.
Thanks


CB&Sasha, parteners in gardening.
Re: large yucky tomato horn worms
#36255 September 1st, 2005 at 12:25 PM
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no problem.. anytime...


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Re: large yucky tomato horn worms
#36256 September 17th, 2005 at 11:58 PM
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Oh Buglady.. I just found my first tobacco hornworm in my tomatoes! I recognized it from the white rice like stuff all over it, but couldn't remember which was which with the tobacco/tomato hornworms. Turns out, the tobacco one was lovin my maters. So, I'm lookin & lookin, and I find a HUGE one, I mean.. MASSIVE!! I thought it was a bad thing, to leave it, so I snipped the leaf it was on, and removed it to a container. I didn't kill it. I just read, thanks to your links, that I should leave them in the garden if they have the coccoons on them, as they will emerge & then parasite other caterpillars. What a great thread! Thanks Buglady, as always.

Re: large yucky tomato horn worms
#36257 September 18th, 2005 at 02:36 AM
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you can always put the infected caterpillar back smile


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Re: large yucky tomato horn worms
#36258 September 19th, 2005 at 12:10 PM
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Buglady~ Is there a way to remove the wasps without hurting the caterpillar?
Donna flw

Re: large yucky tomato horn worms
#36259 September 19th, 2005 at 10:20 PM
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nope.. sorry by the time you see them the damage is done....


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Re: large yucky tomato horn worms
#36260 September 20th, 2005 at 08:32 AM
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Even after growing up on a farm and my dad always had a garden, I couldn't for the life of me figure out how those hornworms found the tomatoe plants. Duh perpl Guess you are never too old to learn something new. By the way, hubby and I planted some tomatoes this year, and guess what I have been finding? Yup, only I get rid of them. Yuck!

Re: large yucky tomato horn worms
#36261 September 20th, 2005 at 09:55 AM
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the hornworm eggs are laid on the plants by the adult moths a moths at night. The adults are cool looking smile


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