Friday, August 8, 2008

The Tomato Thief

I must interrupt my planned series on Madison to bring you news of my tomato thief.

Yesterday I wandered out to take a look at my plants. I noticed one of my tomato plants had lost quite a few leaves and tomatoes. In fact, whole branches were stripped bare.

I had noticed the beginning of this the other day, but figured it was nothing to worry about.
Then I glanced up at the top of the plant. Another full stalk stripped completely bare. I knew now I had to find out what was wrong. I finally decided I better search for a little caterpillar. Maybe something like that was eating my plant!

What did I finally find? A HUGE caterpillar and its smaller friend! A yelp actually escaped from my mouth when I discovered this -- I never expected something so big.

Can you see how big this monster is? No wonder my plant has been devastated. I have never seen such a big caterpillar in my life!
The children were fascinated and together we captured our culprits and put them in a jar with the stalk of tomatoes they were already eating.

I guess these are known as "Tomato Hornworms". UGH! We'll have to keep a tight watch on the other 2 plants.


Alicia said...

Wow that is huge! I've never seen such a thing!! He probably expanded a lot from all the leaves and tomatoes he ate!

Catherine said...

Oh gross! That thing is enormous!

Heather said...

Good grief! I think that must be a record breaking hornworm - I've never seen one that size and I have seen many. They like to eat tender young plants right off at the stem sometimes! I do hope your plant recovers!

willow said...

Goodness, I've never seen anything that size. Perhaps we don't get them over here, I certainly hope not.

Jessica said...

we had SO many of those on my mothers tomato plants last year. so huge and odd looking. im curious to see what kind of creature they become.. will they be a butterfly?