Monday, July 27, 2009

Tomato Worms

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MaddieLynn got me two tomato plants for Mother's Day. Curiously, they have flowered, but never produced a single tomato.

After doing a little reading, I concluded that the it has been too hot for tomatoes. Either that or I'm not a good gardener. I suspect it may be the latter, but my official stance is that the life draining 130 degree heat is to blame. (Seriously, the thermostat at the pool read 130 the other day! I tried to take a picture, but you know... the whole camera issue.)

Anyway, I guess today the stars are aligned just so because my camera decided to function and even let me load the pictures!

Here is what we have found on our tomato plants. I guess if they won't produce tomatos, they might as well produce something we can study.

These are actually tobacco hornworms. They eat up to 4x their body weight each day and grow to about 4" long. They then bury themselves in the ground and morph into Carolina sphinx moths.

MaddieLynn made this little habitat with a hinged lid for feeding and a see through window so we could watch the whole process unfold.

We collected several sizes. Here is a teeny one.

See more tomato worm photos here.


Pat's Place said...

Tomatoes will not bear much fruit in this heat. Cut the plants back and wait for your fall crop.

Anonymous said...

We had those in Utah when I was growing up, but I haven't seen one in years. I remember them being HUGE and disgusting. I plant marigolds around my tomatoes because they are supposed to keep the bugs away. Just seeing these is sure to induce nightmares for me tonight. yeck

Tim said...

I just had to kill two on my mothers tomato plant that she wouldnt touch. They were the size of a piece of chalk. HUGE!!

I added you to my bloglist!

Love and Prayers,


Kara said...

Found these in our garden the other day after he had eaten most of the plant! We put him in the compost pile to munch on stuff there:)

Holly said...

Oooh yes...they are so huge and so disgusting and so fabulous!!! :) The kids keep looking on our tomatoes, hoping to find some. Me, not so much. :)

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