hawkmoth as a caterpillar /tomato horn

Larvae are pale green with white and black markings (see photo), and undergo 5-6 instars. The first instar is yellow to white in color with no markings. Later instars develop eight white, lateral "V-shaped" marks. A black projection or "horn" on the last abdominal segment gives the caterpillar the name "hornworm."

The caterpillar reaches the final instar in 3-4 weeks, and is 3 1/2 to 4 inches when fully mature. Fully-grown larvae then drop off of the plants and burrow into the soil to pupate. During the summer months, moths will emerge from pupae in about 2 weeks. Moths emerge from the soil, mate, and then begin to deposit the eggs of the next generation on tomato plants.

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JOHN McCarley

PO Box 524
Cashiers, North Carolina 28717
United States


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