Currently viewing the category: "Tomato Bugs"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar
Location: South-eastern CT
July 30, 2016 2:41 pm
I found this green guy on a tomato plant. Should I be concerned about whether he will damage the plant? It’s the end of a hot sunny July.
Signature: Emily

Tobacco Hornworm

Tobacco Hornworm

Dear Emily,
Though they are frequently found eating the leaves of tomato plants (and other plants in the family including pepper and eggplant), the caterpillar of the Carolina Sphinx,
Manduca sexta, is commonly called a Tobacco Hornworm.  They will eat leaves and numerous Tobacco Hornworms may defoliate a small tomato plant.  They will also eat green tomatoes.  Many gardeners remove them.  We do not.  We suspect if you did not remove it, it is long gone, having dug beneath the surface of the ground to pupate.  We frequently received requests to identify the pupae of the Carolina Sphinx when gardeners discover them while turning the soil the following season.  The adult Carolina Sphinx is an impressive moth. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Tiny green bristly larva
Location: NJ
May 29, 2016 3:03 pm
I live in NJ. This tiny green bristly larva of some kind was on a severely stressed tomato plant that had suffered tomato russet mite then aphid infestation when I decided to just plant it and let it survive or die.
I thought I should be able to recognize it, but am striking out with all my guesses. I would appreciate it very much if you could help.
I prefer to let the Garden Patrol take care of the pest issues, so I err on the side of the living — Not knowing what it was, I left it on the plant. (I found a ladybug larva on another plant)
Signature: Garden Patrol Squad Leader

Buffalo Treehopper Nymph

Buffalo Treehopper Nymph

Dear Garden Patrol Squad Leader,
This is the nymph of a Buffalo Treehopper in the genus
Ceresa which you can verify by comparing to this BugGuide image.  While they might not do too much damage to your plant, they do have mouths designed to pierce and suck fluids from the plant, which in the case of an already stressed tomato plant, does not seem like it will be doing the plant much good.

Yikes!  that being the case, I will have to deploy a proper member of the Garden Patrol to protect that plant.  Perhaps a treehopper nymph will be appreciated as a tasty assignment bonus.  ^_^
Thank you for a speedy response! Much appreciated.  :o)

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large green catapiller
Location: waukesha wi
August 5, 2015 5:34 pm
found this guy munching away on my tomato plants. He cleaned a few branches bare so I relocated him. Roughly 3 inches long, 3/4 wide.
Signature: Wi gardener

Tobacco Hornworm

Tobacco Hornworm

Dear Wi gardener,
This is a Tobacco Hornworm,
Manduca sexta, one of two species of related caterpillars that are frequently found feeding on the leaves of tomatoes and related plants.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Do you do Caterpillars?
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
July 13, 2015
Alien on our tomato plant. About 5″ long. 😆
Sarah

Tobacco Hornworm

Tobacco Hornworm

Dear Sarah,
There are two related, similar looking caterpillars that feed on the leaves and occasionally the fruit of tomatoes.  You have the Tobacco Hornworm,
Manduca sexta, the larva of the Carolina Sphinx, which according to BugGuide, can be recognized by:  ” large green body; dorsal ‘horn’ (usually curved and orange, pink or red) on terminal abdominal segment; up to seven oblique whitish lateral lines, edged with black on upper borders.”  The caterpillar of the similar looking Tomato Hornworm, the caterpillar of the Five Spotted Hawkmoth, can be distinguished from the previous, according to BugGuide, because:  “The caterpillar has eight v-shaped stripes rather than the seven diagonal stripes of the similar Tobacco Hornworm (larva of Carolina Sphinx). The horn is also straight and blue-black rather than orange, yellow red. Unfortunately many images of these caterpillars found on the internet are misidentified. “

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

October 11, 2010
When Daniel was filming the publicity video to demonstrate his on camera abilities to television producers, he was unable to locate any Tomato Bugs, the caterpillars of two different species of Sphinx Moths in the genus
Manduca, in his garden.  Undaunted, the video was shot without the starring bugs.  Six weeks later, Daniel found at least six Carolina Sphinx Caterpillars, Manduca sexta, chomping on the leaves of the volunteer tomato plant in the back yard.  Here is a photo of two of them.  Perhaps he can convince the camera crew from Varmint Media to return.

Carolina Sphinx Caterpillars

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

So we found 3 of these in the soil of our vegetable garden. In case location info helps, we live in Orange County, California about 4 miles from the beach and our soil has a lot of clay. The only things I’ve seen large enough to come from this are what are commonly called tomatoe worms here, or potato bugs. We saw a couple potato bugs in the garden last year but I haven’t been able to find any information about their life cycle, so I guess my question is two-fold: what is this chrysalis, and if it’s not a potato bug, what is the life cycle of a potato bug?
Thanks,
Linda

Hi Linda,
You have a pupa from the Tomato Hornworm, also known as the Tobacco Sphinx, Manduca sexta. The large green caterpillars you find on your tomato plants bury themselves in the dirt and pupate into the form you have dug up. They emerge as large moths, lay eggs and begin the cycle again.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination