Tomato Horn Worm

Uploaded 21 Jul 2008
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© Connie Campbell
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Tomato Horn Worms are very hard to see as they hang in the shade underneath foliage. But this one, covered with white cocoons of the predatory Braconid Wasp, is easily seen against colorful backgrounds..This Tomato Horn Worm munches away on its favorite fast food; Note the nearby ragged leaf edges where it has already dined. Apparently oblivious of the cocoons it carries on its back and the additional Wasp larvae that may be inside it about to bore out and spin their own cocoons.Leaves are their normal fare, but this Tomato Worm was caught munching on a Green Tomato. Even though it looks healthy, it may be doomed by Wasp Eggs already laid inside it.

It must continue to eat if any Wasp Larvae inside it are to mature and come out to spin cocoons. But it will never spin its own cocoon to become a winged adult and lay eggs to propagate its species.If you find a Worm with cocoons, it is best left undisturbed to allow the cocoons to develop and increase the predator population.It is rumored that Tomato Horn Worms,which may be nearly invisible in dense foliage,glow in the dark under Ultraviolet Light,making them easy to find and remove.

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