A couple of disappearing Hornworms

michelliot(z7 ny)July 18, 2014

Within the last couple of weeks, I've found 3 hornworms on my Sweet 100 tom. Two of them had already been providing a food source for the next generation of wasps in the neighborhood so I left them where the were. The third I brought to the front of my house where it became the media for a couple of Robins tug of war. I could swear they had smiles on their faces.

I check on the two on my plant for a couple of days with no change in status. But a few days after that I was talking to my neighbor and wanted to educate her as what to search for when inspecting her tomato plants. When we got to the dwelling of the two impregnated hornworms on my plant, they were both gone.

Has anyone followed the aftermath of a host hornworm and knows what might have happened to my two guys?

Thanks and be well............elliot

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They could have either been dispatched by a predator (like bird), or simply fallen off due to the damages of the wasps.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 2:56PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Are you sure they're gone? They're pretty good at camouflage.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 4:13PM
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No idea. Instant mulch? Just show her pics on google.


    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 5:16PM
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Last year I found evidence of hornworm droppings on a tomato plant and some eaten leaves but very slight damage. Never did find the hornworms. I suspected a hungry bird.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 7:47AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Probably a bird or possibly even another very large wasp (hornet). Considering how many of them get eaten (from within or without) I'm always amazed there are any left to reproduce!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:12AM
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They will shrivel up and die...they are food for the eggs that were implanted inside them by the wasp, hatched and then came to the surface as pupa. By the time you see the pupa (the white rice-like things) the worm has been a host for a while.

It could have fallen off...sometimes they stay on the plant - brown and dried up.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:37AM
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