Monday, 19 July 2010

A Little Summer Nature Study :: Tomato Hornworm with Parasites

While we were taking care of our vegetable garden, we found this little caterpillar. We didn't know at the time what type it was, but thought best to bring him to the field, in a home that would suit us better. I was curious to know what kind it was though, so last night Adrienne and I did a bit of googling.
We found out that the caterpillar is the Tomato Hornworm and by itself is actually quite a threat to the garden. It likes to eat the leaves of tomato plants as well as pepper plants and others. I found our orange sweet peppers had big holes in them a few days ago. Now I am pretty sure it was from this guy, as there were black droppings all around the pepper plants too.
The little white things you see all over the hornworm are parasites. They are the eggs of a small species of wasps. Once the eggs hatch, they feed on the caterpillar and also on any other hornworm catterpillars that might be around, which turns this into a helpful critter for the garden!

How interesting that a parasite can be a good thing!
You can read more about the Tomato Hornworm here and the type with the wasp eggs here. and here.


  1. Awesome! Awesome! I actually spent 2 wks in Ecuador looking for caterpillars as part of a study on parasitism just like this!! So very cool!

  2. Here's a link to a post I wrote some time ago about my experience:

  3. What an awesome picture. How interesting about the parasites.

    I love your blog, I'll be stopping by more often! We're going to try to do more nature study this year.

    - Angela

  4. It is great to grab your nature study where you find them! Thoses eggs give me the creeps! :)

  5. I can't seem to unscrunch my face from the eewww factor. Eewwww But wow. The wow factor makes my eyebrows relax a bit. Very very interesting to learn about - glad you photographed and googled ad shared!


I ♥ comments! Thank you for stopping by.


Related Posts with Thumbnails


Fun home learning book sharing monday family books wordless wednesday nature journey north art wrap-up weekly report Reading nature study holidays photography science geography sketch tuesday canada homeschool report Me pets quilting cooking for our earth DPP Movies outdoor challenge sewing exploring get outdoors Fairy outdoor hour Iditarod birthday challenge math summer celeste journey north 2009 100books Dragon Lego music Princess animals halloween home journey north 2010 lapbook NaNoWriMo author fiesta field trip public school wreck this journal poetry 12 secrets baking birds blogs journey north 2011 spring city curriculum fitness gardening moving black history month bugs earth hour journey north 2012 planning reading my library shutter sisters sled dogs this moment travel unschooling December board games calendar quilt lego quest swap air cadets feeding my family food revolution hockey library recipes what works air show author study award backyard bird count camping dr seuss father's day pirates roald dahl space sports what my children are reading year 5 Ballet DQS6 St Patrick's Day TED talks arnosky basketball biographies eating clean for others geocaching happiness mail medical memory monday orion poems science rendezvous scree-free week 2011 skating spelling winter solstice winterfest youtube 2010 olympics Charlottetown PEI Patricia Polacco Rant appreciation book collecting good deeds helping others hooping hunger games jamie oliver maze nat orchestra peace quilt-along screen-free week snail stamps the next chapter book club video games wilderness wednesday wish wednesday world news writing