Our tomato plants have been attacked, and very quickly decimated. But at least I got to learn something – this is a Tobacco Hornworm (Manduca sexta). You can tell because of the straight-line stripes (like cigarettes), and the red horn. A Tomato Hornworm has V-shaped stripes (like “vine-ripened”), and a blue or black horn. Since tomatoes and tobacco are actually related plants, both moths like both plants… this caterpillar, and the dozens of others that have destroyed the tomatoes on our deck, will become a hawk moth. So I guess we have that to look forward to.
Interestingly, the tomato planted in the ground just around the corner from these plants appears to be untouched.
Photo Credit – Lynn Abbott