Tomato Hornworm

The tomato hornworm is a ferocious pest that can eat all parts of a plant, including the fruits.
Tomato Hornworm Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Manduca quinquemaculata
Tomato Hornworm Physical Characteristics
3-4 weeks
Tomato Hornworm Distribition

The tomato hornworm is a vicious parasite that can eat all components of a plant, consisting of the fruits.


The tomato hornworm is the caterpillar of the 5- found hawk moth. The worm is characterized by the visibility of a horn on its back which offers it a powerful appearance. While it does not damage humans, the tomato hornworm is a well-known parasite of yard veggies. It assaults the tomato plant and various other plants in the Solanaceae family.

Tomato Hornworm Species, Kind, and Scientific Name

The tomato hornworm is the caterpillar of the 5- found hawk moth (Manduca quinquemaculata). The grown-up type of this worm is a huge moth in the hawk moth family (Sphingidae). There have to do with 1,450 species of hawk moths in as much as 200 category. The larvae of all hawk moths are called hornworms.

The 5- found hawkmoth’s larva is described as the tomato horn moth. The name recommendations the dark horn- like estimate on their posterior end and the reality that they utilize the tomato plant as their host plant.

Appearance: Exactly How To Determine Tomato Hornworm

Garden enthusiasts typically puzzle the tomato hornworm with the cigarette hornworm, the larvae of the Carolina sphinx moth (Manduca sexta). Both caterpillars have a similar physical appearance and prey on plants of the exact same family, that makes them a lot more challenging to differentiate. Nonetheless, both species vary somewhat in their appearance.

Tiny tomato hornworms are commonly yellow or creamy colored without any noting. Their shade starts to transform eco-friendly as they expand. At complete dimension, the tomato hornworm has to do with 3 to 4 inches in size. It is among the biggest of all yard caterpillars. It is eco-friendly in shade and commonly has 8 angled white red stripes on its sides. The tomato hornworm likewise has a black horn forecasting from its back. The cigarette hornworm has a horn also, however it is commonly red. Likewise, the angled white red stripes on this caterpillar number as much as 7.

The grown-up type of this worm is a huge moth with slim front wings. It has a multicolor grey- brownish shade with yellow areas on its abdominal area. Their back wings commonly have rotating bands of light and dark shades. The 5- found hawk moth has an ordinary wingspan of around 4 to 5 inches.

Environment: Where To Discover the Tomato Hornworm

The normal variety of the 5- found hawk moth remains in The United States and Canada and Australia. It is located in numerous areas throughout these 2 continents. In the USA, 5- found hawk moths and their larvae are much more common in the north USA contrasted to the cigarette hornworm, which is much more popular in the south. Grown-up 5- found hawk moths commonly lay their propel the young fallen leaves near the stem of the plants in the family Solanaceae. The tomato plant is their preferred host, however you might likewise locate them on the eggplant, cigarette, potato, moonflowers and pepper. They feed& nbsp;

Diet: What Do Tomato Hornworms Eat?

The tomato hornworm preys on numerous plants in the family Solanaceae, particularly the tomato plant. In this larvae phase, they are ravenous insects understood to chew on the fallen leaves, stems and also the premature fruit of the plant. They commonly strike a plant in lots, defoliating it within a brief time.

What Does Tomato Hornworm Eat?

The tomato plant is the host of option for tomato hornworms. Nonetheless, they might likewise prey on various other plants in the Solanaceae family, such as eggplant, potato, pepper and cigarette. Although this is much less usual, tomato hornworms might likewise prey on weeds like the horsenettle, nightshade and jimsonweed.

As grownups, they prey on nectar from blooming plants such as the Datura meteloides (irritable burr), Mirabilis multiflora (Colorado 4 o’clock) and Oenothera caespitosa (Tufted night primrose). The moths are drawn in to the great smelling white blossoms of these plants.

What Consumes Tomato Hornworm?

This caterpillar has numerous all-naturalpredators Garden enthusiasts might launch chickens and various other birds right into the yard to select them off the plant. In a similar way, some species of parasitical braconid wasps likewise strike the hornworms. They commonly lay their propel the rear of the hornworms. The larvae of the wasps will certainly eat the worm when it hatches out.

Avoidance: Exactly How to Eliminate Tomato Hornworm

Provided the plus size of these worms, an invasion is simple to find. Eliminating them is reasonably simple also. Probably the simplest and most reliable technique would certainly be to select them off the plants when you locate them. You can squash the worm or throw them in a dish of soapy water.

Garden enthusiasts typically deal with a poor invasion making use of an all-natural microorganisms, Bacillus thuringiensis. This microorganisms functions by incapacitating the worm’s digestion system, quiting them from feeding. Various other reduced- danger chemicals that resemble this consist of Spinosad and Insecticidal soap. These chemicals do not strike various other insects, that makes them a much better option to wide- range chemicals like bifenthrin, lambda- cyhalothrin, cyfluthrin, and permethrin.

Additionally, one might present basic aggressive insects like girl beetles or eco-friendly lacewings right into the yard. They victimize the eggs and young tomato hornworms. Some species of wasps, such as paper wasps, prey on caterpillars similar to this also.


  1. Wikipedia, Available here:
  2. University of Minnesota Extension, Available here:
  3. Wikipedia, Available here:

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