Hornworm Metamorphosis

hornworm almost-pupa
Hi Bugman,
For all the pics I’ve sent you, nothng had ever been good/interesting enough (to you!) for inclusion. This time, we have something you don’t have yet. My 7yo and I were digging out our tomato plants yesterday, when he saw this in the dirt. It is a hornworm in the process of becoming a pupa, as far as I can tell. You can actually see his horn there at the bottom of the pic. His legs were still there too, and he squirmed a bit, but is clearly shorter and more, uh, pupa-shaped than the big fat guys we saw into December. His body markings were gone. We gently reburied him–we’re not planting tomatos there next year–but I don’t know if we did him in just by digging him up. This is from Westchester, CA.
Audrey and Tony

Hi Audrey and Tony,
You have tapped into our guilt. First, we heartily apologize for not ever posting your submissions. There are many possible reasons. Sheer volume is high on the list. If letters have no subject line, then we tend to just ignore them except on very slow days. Often people send letters and forget to attach images and we don’t have time to request that they resend. Who knows? At any rate, we are happy to get your latest sumbission. Reburying the Hornworm probably did not interfere with the metamorphosis. The next step is that the larval skin will split and the pupa will wriggle out.

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