Caterpillar? Good guy or bad guy?

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Date Photo Taken: June 19, 2011
Location: Eatonton, GA
Posted By: lakelife


I found this Caterpillar looking bug on my tomato plant this morning. It has
4 sets of legs on the body, 3 sets of close-set legs on one end and a horn on the other end. There are dots down the side that looks like eyes and white and black spots diagonally across the back. Can you tell me what this is an it is harmful to my plants?


  1. e Unregistered says:

    kill them. they’ll strip your plants of leaves. Don’t know the name.

    June 20th, 2011 at 9:32 pm
  2. lakelife Unregistered says:

    This is a Tomato Horn worm.These big larvae will consume a fair amount of foliage and even feed on tomatoes. The good news is that you can typically just pick them off and mash them underfoot. In spite of “legend” the “horn” on the back end is not a stinger and they cannot sting you. No spraying is necessary with this pest, just scout your plants and pick them off as necessary.
    Thanks to my local Extension office for providing this information.

    June 21st, 2011 at 12:58 pm
  3. pennyks Unregistered says:

    It looks like a tomato hornworm.

    June 21st, 2011 at 4:44 pm
  4. Alice Walker Apprentice says:

    I found one on my tomato plant yesterday. Looked it up, and it is a tobacco hornworm (also loves tomatoes). It becomes a Carolina sphinx moth.
    The Tobacco hornworm has a red horn, whereas the tomato hornworm has a green and black horn. I took it to the office and Tim, a coworker and farmer knew exactly what it was. He said when they used to hang up tobacco leaves these caterpillars would fall out of the leaves onto them. He said they would be covered with them when they left the barn. Said they don’t taste good at all. I gave mine to my grandson who wants to watch the metamorphosis even if it is a pest. His dad has a lot of tomato plants with extra leaves, so the critter will be well fed.

    July 16th, 2011 at 2:42 pm

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