Subject: Tobacco Hornworm “Eyeballs”
Location: Silver Lake
September 19, 2014 3:13 pm
There was only one of these giant hornworm caterpillars on the now dying tomato plant. I was quite surprised by the row of “eyeballs” on either side of the beast. I imagine they are solely for camouflage. Or do they serve another purpose?
Signature: Diane E
The organs to which you refer are known a spiracles, and they enable the Tobacco Hornworm, Manduca sexta, to breathe. Spiracles are not unique to the Tobacco Hornworm (see BugGuide). We are unable to do additional research at this time as our search engine keeps crashing our server.