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Some sort of moth chrysalis? - Manduca

Some sort of moth chrysalis? - Manduca
Horsehoe Bend, Weatherford, Parker County, Texas, USA
July 10, 2011
Size: 3"
I would appreciate help in IDing this chrysalis I found today. I transplanted 2 tomato plants today, and this was in the soil in the bucket the plant was in. In fact, there was one of these in each of 2 tomato buckets I emptied to transplant. All help appreciated. Thanks.

Moved from ID Request.
To clarify: this is a pupa; hornworms do not form cocoons, which are silken shelters that some insect larvae construct before pupating.

....Charley. :)

Thanks everyone.
This is one of the most interesting things I've found. Nature sure is amazing!

...the bottom part wiggled in a circular motion when I picked it up.

Tomato Horn Worm Chrysalis
Tomato Horn Worm chrysalis which turns into a Sphinx Moth. I reared some out in college a few years ago but do not know which Sphinx it is. Try putting in a cage, and see what emerges.

Manduca, yes, but which?
Both Manduca sexta (the tobacco hornworm) and Manduca quinquemaculata (the tomato hornworm) use a variety of Solanaceous ("Nightshade" family: tomato, tobacco etc) so I don't believe you can ID it to species based on host plant without rearing it to an adult. I have successfully reared M. sexta on greenhouse tomato plants and in a lab colony. It doesn't need to be put back into the ground, just somewhere enclosed with high humidity and something to climb up. Just hope that it was outdoors when it was a caterpillar so that it thought it was a long summer day and not a short fall day because then it would go into diapause.

....would you please explain the last sentence, especially what "diapause" is. Whatever this caterpillar was/is, it was outside and still is.

diapause and others
Diapause is the word for insect hibernation. The tobacco hornworm has a very brief window of time (a day or so) during it's life as a caterpillar where it is sensitive to the light cycle and makes a "decision" as to the time of year. If the day length indicates that winter is coming then it hibernates to wait out the winter. Because it depends on light cycle insects reared inside sometimes accidentally spend months as a pupa instead of weeks!

Thanks Jessica.
We are in a serious heatwave & drought here. Blinding light all day long, and heat, so I don't think it will "diapause". I'm going to check on it tomorrow. I put it in the ground with the transplanted tomato, and marked the spot with a little flag. I think since tehre's two, I will bring one in to see what hatches. Thanks for your help.

I grant that it's a sphinx mo
I grant that it's a sphinx moth pupa, but how can you tell it's from a tomato hornworm? BTW, I don't think it's correct to call it a chrysalis, which is the pupa of a butterfly, usually attached by one end to a support structure, not buried or encased in a cocoon.

It always fascinates me that the proboscis is separate in the pupa stage.

Sphinx cocoon
It looks like the ones I reared in college. From the information that it was found in the tomato plant soil, I assumed it was Tomato Horn Worm. I had taken the caterpillars, put them in a tank, then observed the cocoon that had been in the soil. Also took some already in the cocoon form and reared those too.

I am a novice "bugger". The correct name is cocoon? Or pupa?

Thank you.
I am thinking about doing that. Since it was buried under a couple inches of dirt, should I keep it that way?

Tomato Horn Worm Cocoon
Yes, what I did was buried the cocoon in soft soil, put it in a small fish tank with a screen lid. A big jar with holes punched in the top would work too. I do not remember if I misted the soil or not, to avoid drying of the chrysalis. Provide a branch for the moth to come out to dry its wings.

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