Moths in Our Gardens: Five-spotted hawkmoth (tomato hornworm)

Tomato hornworm
Tomato hornworm larva with parasitic wasp pupae.
Photo credit: David Moskowitz

The five-spotted hawkmoth or tomato hornworm, feeds on tomato, eggplant, pepper, and other members of the Solanaceae family. Often the larvae of the tomato hornworm are parasitized by wasps and can be found clinging to the stems of tomato plants with white pupae attached to their bodies (left).

What’s Cool:
The adult moths have stunning markings on their abdomens. These spots become exposed when the moths spread their wings.

What’s Not Cool:
Tomato hornworm larvae are voracious eaters and can defoliate a tomato plant quickly if left untreated.

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