What in the world is this???
Location: Central Texas
July 13, 2011 3:34 pm
I was uprooting my tomato plants when I saw this in the soil in the container (IE: not from the ground) At first glance, I thought it was just a small pine cone or something…until it MOVED. Thought it might be a ”stinger” on the end, so I didn’t touch it. Is it harmful? Is it some kind of larvae? What in the world is this?
You have unearthed the pupa of a Sphinx Moth in the genus Manduca. There are two species in the genus whose caterpillars feed on the leaves of tomatoes and related plants. Gardeners sometimes call them Tomato Bugs and they are also frequently called Tomato Hornworms because of the prominent caudal horn. The body part that seems to resemble the handle of a jug is the case for the long proboscis, the strawlike sucking mouth of the adult moth which enables it to draw nectar from deep throated flowers like honeysuckle.
After not having a CLUE what it was on my own investigation, I found your website. Appreciate your expert identification. It’s nice to finally but a name with a face…..or….bug… 😉
Thanks for your time!