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Author Topic: Tomato Worm Moth  (Read 7118 times)

Offline BlueBee

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Tomato Worm Moth
« on: September 04, 2011, 01:42:48 AM »
Got a great photo of one of my Tomato worm moths tonight!


These things are actually a little bigger than I expected.  They have a certain beauty in their own way, don’t you think?

In case you didn’t follow my other thread about experimenting with tomato worms, let me recap.

First I captured some large tomato worms from my tomato plants.  Here’s a photo of one of them.


This is the most common horn worm found on tomato plants (at least in my garden), but oddly enough this worm/moth is really a Tobacco Hornworm (Manduca sexta)

I wanted to learn how to successfully rear other large native moths that crawl underground to pupate and overwinter.  Since Tomato worms also crawl under ground to pupate, and they’re plentiful, they make a good vehicle to learn from.

After a Tomato worm has eaten enough of your Tomato plants, they crawl down from the plant and burrow underground where they turn into a brown pupa.  This is the final stage before they emerge as a new moth in a couple of weeks, or next spring.

Offline BjornBee

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Re: Tomato Worm Moth
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2011, 07:45:15 PM »
Nice pictures.

I actually like the food chain one step up.

This was a tomato horn worm in my garden after a friendly parasitic wasp got done with it.

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Offline BlueBee

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Re: Tomato Worm Moth
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2011, 07:56:12 PM »
Wow, nice photo BjornBee!

I haven’t seen any tomato worms that have been parasitized like that in years around here.  I don’t think we have as many parasitic wasps on this side of the Appalachian Mountains.

The worms did a pretty good job on my tomatos this summer, but there is still way more than we can eat.  Lots go to the food bank and church.   No bugs at all on the potatoes this summer.  That was great news.  I didn’t use any insecticides; my only real bug problem is the codling moth on the apple trees and of course the Japanese beetles.

 

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