Sunday, September 20, 2009


This is what happens to crusty little varmits
in the organic garden.

They lie in the bottom of a child's blue sand bucket
awaiting the waves.

This is a tomato hornworm

Taken over by aliens???

wearing the babies of

it's sworn nemesis the braconid wasp;

or in more scientific terms,

a tomato hornworm carrying parasitic
braconid wasp larvae/cocoons!

and because inquiring minds want more scientific facts;

One of the most common parasites in home gardens is a small, parasitic braconid wasp. It lays its eggs in the tomato hornworm. Many wasp larvae feed inside the hornworm, eventually killing the caterpillar. The cocoons containing pupae of these wasps are visible as small white projections on the hornworm's body. Larvae with cocoons sometimes move sluggishly, but seldom cause additional feeding damage. They should be left on the plant so emerging adult parasites can attack other hornworms.

Insert my comment here;

Leave it on the plant?

I think not!

especially not in late September.

If you are wondering what to do with your hornworms;

Hand-picking the hornworms from infested plants in the garden provides safe and effective control in small home gardens. Drop them into a small bucket or coffee can of soapy water. They can be hard to spot. Try spraying all the plants with water, the hornworms are really bright green, often brighter when wet than the leaves of your plant. Once you find one yukky green dude, others are much more easily found.

and in this particular case,
every single one we found
even the waspy guy.

so sad.

nope, not sad at all!

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