Currently viewing the category: "Tomato Bugs"
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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.

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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. “

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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

I did my research on your site (it was very helpful…thanks) and took this pic to send for your files if you want it…
Liisa Abbatiello

Dear Liisa,
I’m so glad our site was helpful. We have gotten several letters describing what your photo depicts, the parasitization of the Tomato Hornworm by Braconid Wasps. A picture is worth 1000 words. Thank you so much.

A HUGE bug I thought was going to carry my dachshund away!!!

Dear Bugman,
I looked through ALL of your pictures to try to ID my bug and not "bug" you, but I didn’t see it. I live in San Antonio, TX. The other night I heard a loud "bump" on the window near my recliner. I looked out to see the LARGEST bug I have ever seen. I thought perhaps it was a bird or a bat, but it hid under my son’s toy lawnmower, and my husband got a broom to move the lawnmower to get it out, and he said it was a bug. It was attracted to light, because when it was dark outside, it hit my window trying to get to my light inside. When we turned the lights on the porch on, he flew around, rather clumsily, toward the light. It’s wingspan had to be close to 6"-8", and it was black and white variegated, almost like a flame stitch… kind of striped, but scribble striped. I swear I thought it had a skin-like covering over itself. I didn’t see an exoskeleton, but my husband swore it was a bug, and he was closer to it.
Thank You
Rebecca

Dear Rebecca,
I sure hope I can help you before you loose your dachsund. I’m not exactly sure, but here goes a guess. Tobacco Sphinx Moths, Manduca Sexta, grow large, and can have a wingspan in excess of five inches. They also have a robust body. They are attracted to lights and have a mottled pattern on the wings much as you describe. Since their bodies are covered with scales, they do not appear to have an exoskeleton. Here is a photo. Let us know.

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Hi,
Recently we have found about 6 of the very large tomato hornworms(?) on our 2 tomato plants. They look very similar to the black and white photo on your website. Half of them had white oval fuzzy pieces all over the outside of their bodies. What are those? Eggs? We took them off the plant by either breaking the stems they were on or by picking them off with a Popsicle stick. They are eating our plants down to the stalks!
Thanks,
Rebecca

Dear Rebecca,
Those "eggs" you saw were in fact the cocoons of a parasitic Braconid wasp which was devouring the tomato hornworm alive. Nature’s own pesticide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination