Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tomato Glutton


Meet Carl Caterpillar, A.K.A. Tomato Glutton. Bob told me he had been picking these guys off his tomato plants, they are  were eating the plants and tomatoes. Then I read a post by Gail at Familar Spirits  and she had a photo just like our Carl. I asked on her blog, where do they come from?  Her answer was it is a Tomato Hornworm and it turns into a butterfly.


Who knew??? I sure did not. The very next morning, while staring at the bucket garden, I spied this.

Did some Google research and found He turns into the Five Spotted Hawkmoth  follow the link to see the moth photo.
The hog part comes in because he ate the whole tomato. if you enlarge these 3 pics you can see his head was buried deep inside the half tomato that was left when I found him. 

Sad to say Carl Catterpillar is in the local obituary list today. Bob's subscribes to the NO Mercy syndrome! Gail says they use them for fishing bait.  (note: I did almost cry and I did say, who needs tomatoes, we can buy them) alas! No Mercy

42 comments:

Debra Dickinson said...

I think they also like petunias - I pulled 13 of those suckers off of one hanging basket last year. Or at least ones very similar. I took them to the front of the house and put them on a bush I didn't particularly care for, but the next morning I didn't see a single one of them. My neighbor said the birds probably got them. That made me sad too. Guess there's no mercy to be found anywhere for these poor guys - except in photographs. :)

BlueShell said...

Yes...I know they turn into butterflies...but I still do not like it! Yeck!!!
But the photos are excellent!

Love
BShell

Ginny said...

Have you had them before or just this year??? Well I must say the moths are kind of boogley and scary, I wouldn't want one flying at me in the evening!!

Declan said...

You really do have some cool wildlife in Florida! Mum hates killing stuff too. she's been known to relocate buckets of snails from the garden when everyone else puts down beer traps to kill them! Deccy x

SquirrelQueen said...

Aw, poor Carl. So sorry to hear of his demise. Maybe you need a special section of plants just for these guys. They do turn into a nice looking moth.

Betty Manousos said...

i'm with squirrel queen.

i always hate killing poor little guys like this, but i have to say the moths are kinda scary.

Remington said...

I think I would have let him have a couple of tomatoes and send him on his way....but not that way....poor little Carl....

TexWisGirl said...

the mentality of the farmer...

Pam said...

Great shot of the green tomatoes and soon to be- departed.
Love your sense of humor, Sandra.. your post always give me a chuckle.

Maple Lane said...

I had no idea....great photos, Sandra.

diane b said...

Great shots of the tomato glutton. I'm with Bob, away with the pests. We put the work into growing tomatoes so that WE can eat them, not a creepy crawly. (Yes I'm back home)

troutbirder said...

Yikes. I've never seen one of these but they do look dangerous ---- to tomatoes.

SweetMarie said...

Awww poor Carl! I think I would have relocated the little guy. :) Great crisp photos!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Yikes!!! He looks much too big for me to want to be near him.

Tracy said...

Wow! Can you say, 'SO COOL!!!' that is stunning! the photos that is...

CrankyPuppy said...

My chickens love hornworms as a treat, so many have met their demise in that manner. FYI, if you see a hornworm with little white eggs on its back, do NOT kill it. Those are eggs from a parasitic wasp and the hornworm is being eaten from the inside out. Those wasps are beneficial to your garden, so you want them to hatch.

Terri Buster said...

They will eat your plants up so fast- almost overnight.

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

I love your photos, up close and personal, this guy is truly beautiful but not great for the garden.

2 years ago with +4.00 reading glasses on, I was trying to find out what was eating my tomatoes. NOT good to come across one of these under high magnification. My pupils dilated, I gasped and not to mention what I did in my pants.

These have got to go or you will not get any tomatoes.

With bob on the lookout, I hope you do get to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

Madi and Mom said...

Oh noes Ms Sandra...that is horrible.
Mom doesn't mind sharing this world with every critter but everyone needs to learn not to be hoggish!!

Carl and his ilk must learn not to eat 'maters!! Period Exclamation Point.
Hugs Madi

S. Etole said...

They blend in so well they must be hard to find.

Susannah said...

Sincere Sympathy for Carl......but I am glad Bob does what he does. I do not like those things!

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

I'd rather have tomatoes, so I show No Mercy, either! :D

EG CameraGirl said...

Every tomato grower's nightmare! You have proof of who's doing the dastardly deed.

Amy Burzese said...

Yep, they'll eat a plant overnight.

photowannabe said...

no mercy, for sure. Those things will eat everything in sight.
Great pictures of those critters anyhow.

George said...

Your photos are wonderful, but I still don't like worms that eat all my tomatoes.

EM Illustrator said...

Very green pictures today :) Great shots. Yes those thingies eat everything that comes in their way.

LC said...

Oh my! I have seen those moths. I did not know they were the nasty tomato nemesis. I, too, am with Bob. No mercy!

Snapper II said...

That worm is a eating machine. We had some in our garden last year.

Andrew said...

Wow! what fantastic images... shame about your toms and of course poor Carl xx

Ann said...

I've seen plenty of those things before but I had no idea they would turn in to a butterfly. I wouldn't mind them so much if they didn't ruin so many tomatoes

Chatty Crone said...

Well I am with you - I don't think I could kill one - heck I couldn't pull it off the plant. I don't know what I would do. Oh yeah - I'd call Rick - squirrel hunter. lol sandie

Kathy said...

Oh, yes, the dreaded hornworm! They can strip your tomato plant quicker than you can say hornworm! I give mine a good going over every day to make sure they aren't being visited by these critters. I've got a good crop of tomatoes growing and I don't want to lose them.

Inger said...

Poor thing, but that's the way it goes when you have a garden. By the time we got our gopher last year, I was so mad at it for eating my squash that I adjusted pretty well to his demise.

Deb said...

they would make great fish bait...would be 2 photo ops...one on the vine...one of the big fish you caught with it...

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh how I agree with Bob.... I would get rid of those pesky things anyway I could.... I'd want those delicious tomatoes...

Guess I'm just an ole meanie! I have no mercy on anything which eats or tries to destroy our flowers/plants/shrubs/etc...... NO MERCY from me. Sorry!

Hugs,
Betsy

Madge Bloom said...

Oh my that gives me the creeps... but such wonderful captures! The green is SO well green! Thank you for sharing on Weekly Top Shot #32!

Mamabug said...

Those tomato worms are such naughty little critters! It's such a pretty green.

Ann said...

you have to look carefully or you will miss it. nice lime green color.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

What wonderful pictures. I only have one tomato so far so they better stay away from my house!

DawnTreader said...

Sneaky little things, adopting the same colour as the plant! I feel a sudden urge to go out and check my two little plants on the balcony, just in case...

Rose said...

I guess I am with Bob on that one...I love my tomatoes.

These also eat tobacco...I used to have to go through the tobacco picking them off. When they get real big, they do this thing where they curl the end without the horn back in defense. YUK! When they got that big, I would sometimes get a stick to scrape them off the leaf.