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Hornworm ? - Manduca sexta

Hornworm ? - Manduca sexta
Manteca, San joaquin County, California, USA
October 1, 2007
Size: 2 "
I remember when I was a child I would find these Caterpillars on Tomato bushes , but I never knew what kind of Butterfly they turned into . Today , I found this Hornworm in a dry field enjoying a wild Morning glory bush . I wondered why all the leaves were stripped off and only stems were left on this 3' by 3' bush .. this is the only Caterpillar that I found on it , so he must have been hungry . I was surprised to see it out in October when usually they are found during Summer . Thanks for any comments , Beth

tomatoe hornworm
Hi. I am working on a revision of a book, Gardner's Guide to Common Sense Pest Control.

Is it possible to get permission to use this image in the book? If so, I would need a hi-res image, 1.8MB if it is a jpeg - 7MB if it is a tiff.

Thanks so much,
Pam Weatherford

In califoria Manduca sexta is
In califoria Manduca sexta is usual refered to has the tomato horn worm. It goes to show how common names are different in different parts of the country. The moth is a beautiful grey sphinx moth with yellow markings on its abdomen. It pupates in the ground in a large dark redish brown cocoon. My tomato plants still have several catapilars still munching away...they usual disappear into the ground by late October.

You say Tomato, I say Tobacco/ Let's call the whole thing off.
Since both love tomato plants, here's a quick field note I learned to tell them apart. The tomato hornworm's tail hook is green and the tobacco's is brown from all that tobacco it must be chewing.

Yes, common names can be deceptive
Tobacco horn worm is generally used as the "official" common name, but this one is far more commonly found on tomatoes, in my experience! There are adult images on the guide page I linked in my comment, above.

Looks like Tobacco Hornworm, Manduca sexta.

Looks like the Carolina Sphinx
see here.

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