My Enemy Reproduces!


UPDATE!  I meant this post to be funny AND reasonably correct, Thankfully a reader(see comments) has shown me the error of my assumptions. This is not the reproduction of my enemy but the wonderous reproduction of a parasitic wasp feasting on my enemy! Isn’t life amazing. See the video to learn more below!

This is what I found in my garden. It is a tomato horn worm. This voracious eater can devour a tomato plant almost over night. It’s coloring is a perfect camouflage to the gardener who isn’t really sure what to look for. Kids can spot them. Maybe their lower perspective or better eyes, they find them easily.Throughout the season I have found them in all sizes but this time was different! It was carrying eggs!

I found her(?) on a bell pepper plant. I hate these things but I must admit to their strange beauty. The eggs seemed to be attached to each of the brownish dots on the body. Now, don’t think me cruel but when I tried to remove a few they were stuck on pretty tight. Maybe the sacks grew out of these dots? There had to be thirty or more egg sacks. All I can think is that next year I may not grow any nightshade veggies because I can’t imagine that each sack has only one in it. Each probably has hundreds! I really love tomatoes and peppers.

Here is a shot of her on the plant. She is about 3 – 4 inches.Here her sacks look more cocoon like. The fuzz all hers.

I love the beauty that our gardens show us but I sure do hate the tomato horn worm! How do your enemies reproduce?

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About sixathome

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ Mom to six children that have never been sent to school.
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5 Responses to My Enemy Reproduces!

  1. Hi! I wanted to post this on your about page, but alas, could not get there due to the “cannot” page. So here I am.
    This was a fascinating post — great photos! I’m sort of searching around for ones who’d be interested in what I found yesterday, a bit of fascinating history of snow hurricanes:

    http://katharinetrauger.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/last-snowing-hurricane/

    It’s there for the taking, if you are interested, and please, if you like you may pass it along. Just trying to get the best use out of all that research I did. 😉

    • sixathome says:

      Thank you and I am glad to read about your research. I am from the east coast and my family is in the thick of things now dealing with SANDY.

  2. sage_brush says:

    I believe you are very fortunate! The caterpillar itself is the larval form the five spotted hawk-moth. The white things you see are actually the result of eggs laid on the horn worm by a Braconid parasitic wasp! Very beneficial insect to say the least. The wasp’s eggs will hatch, (what you see are actually cocoons) and then proceed to eat the horn worm from the inside out!

    Here is a youtube your kids may (maybe not) enjoy! LOL

Arouse my imagination!

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