Jim G
Jim G
  • Hometalker
  • Suffolk, VA
Asked on Aug 16, 2013

WHAT is hanging in this Caterpillar??

Tlo1435142Wendy Leib EhlersStella Love
+38

Answered

so I looked up Caterpillar Eggs and these are not them! So WHAT are these? Last week I saw about HUNDREDS of these tiny little white things (looks like mini-rice!) on a tomato branch stem and started wiping them off, then just stopped. next day all gone. Today, saw them again and realized these were on a CATERPILLAR!!
q what is hanging in this caterpillar, gardening, pets animals
q what is hanging in this caterpillar, gardening, pets animals
q what is hanging in this caterpillar, gardening, pets animals
q what is hanging in this caterpillar, gardening, pets animals
q what is hanging in this caterpillar, gardening, pets animals
27 answers
  • Bonnie Bassett
    on Aug 17, 2013

    I can't believe it ...I found 4 of these little guys on my tomato plant today they are so weird looking ! I was just thinking how I didn't have a pic to post and here it is ty Jim!

    • Bonnie Bassett
      on Aug 18, 2013

      @Jim G me too. I have been growing tomatoes for the past 7 years and have never seen this if you go to that link someone posted you can watch the video quite amazing!

  • Marty Perry
    on Aug 17, 2013

    i have them on my grape vines

  • Frankie Laney
    on Aug 17, 2013

    Here you go...they are the cocoon of the Braconid Wasp which are good for the garden. The big green worm is basically their food source. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcBgBKv8818

    • Bonnie Bassett
      on Aug 18, 2013

      @Frankie LaneyI watched the video and it was really good I also watched a funny one about these caterpillars too thank you very much for sharing the link.

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on Aug 17, 2013

    Wasp eggs

  • This is nature at her best. There is a type of wasp that lays it's cocoons on the tomato horn worm, which in itself kills the horn worm. Then the hatching baby wasps, become parasites on the horn worms eggs and kills them too. Pretty amazing isn't it!

  • Frankie Laney
    on Aug 17, 2013

    Here's another weird time-lapse video of the event. Icky but intriguing

  • Bonnie Bassett
    on Aug 17, 2013

    does the tomato horn worm harm the tomato plant?

    • Jim G
      on Aug 17, 2013

      @Bonnie Bassett Yes, Tomato Horn Worms do harm your plant, get it off as fast as you can and throw it far enough away that it doesn't get back and MAYBE any luck a bird finds it!

  • Bonnie Bassett
    on Aug 17, 2013

    it is amazing and creepy I don't like wasps I didn't want to kill the hornworms so I put them where I was hoping birds would find them and have a good meal!

  • Linda Russell
    on Aug 17, 2013

    they'll eat your tomato plant to the stalk

    • Catherine Smith
      on Aug 17, 2013

      @Jim G Tomato Horn Worms are destructive. The egg sacks are as mentioned from Branconid wasps. These guys you want to encourage to stay at your place and hang out. They are a great help in your garden.

  • Larose LoganOakes
    on Aug 17, 2013

    Thanks for the information! I haven't seen any of these guys here in Northern Va but now at least if I do I will know what they are and which one to get rid of. Say will birds eat dead catepillars or do they have to be alive (like cats, will only eat something that they have killed, no road kill for them.)?

  • Linda Russell
    on Aug 17, 2013

    start early, cover, from frost, then shade in the heat, water a lot!! Lol

    • Jim G
      on Aug 17, 2013

      @Linda Russell Shade material.... ok, Doug H recommended that also. (I forgot to get that at LOWES).

  • Linda Russell
    on Aug 17, 2013

    you could use old white sheets or gauze material, over stakes. Just cut to fit.

  • Mary-Jo Westbrook
    on Aug 18, 2013

    COOL! :)

  • Eyesdebo
    on Aug 18, 2013

    I think this caterpillar is what becomes a Spinx moth (hummingbiird moth)..... I'm not sure. Anybody know?

  • Robin Berteau
    on Aug 18, 2013

    @Jim G you do have some interesting insects hanging around your garden this year. Great learning experience for us all. I have never seen the hornworms with the eggs on them. WOW. I must not have any wasps around here, I seen to be over run with hornworms.

  • Lauren
    on Aug 18, 2013

    @Jim G Once the tomato horn worm has these predatory wasp eggs on its body, it will NO LONGER feed on your tomato plant. Please leave the tomato horn worm in your garden, as you will now have predatory wasps feeding on other tomato horn worms which may find themselves in your garden. You don't have to use any chemicals now, as these predatory wasps will take care of them for you. Congratulations on having such a wonderful helper of mother nature!

  • Teri Randall
    on Aug 18, 2013

    Wow..Lauren..I didn't know that. I had 1 tomato worm about 3 weeks ago. I cut the stalk part it was on and drowned it in a bucket. So far, none are on there that I can see anyway. But I am sure glad to learn from you what to do if I get another one. Thanks for the tip!!

  • Brenda Davidson Burch
    on Aug 18, 2013

    why not just kill them first?

  • Gwen
    on Aug 18, 2013

    I heard before that these were monarch butterfly larva on the caterpillar after I killed several of them.

  • Karin Graham
    on Aug 18, 2013

    strange got to look outdoors if i have anything like that ,thank you for sharing

  • Bonnie Bassett
    on Aug 18, 2013

    After I watched the video about these caterpillars and wasps I tried to rescue the half dead caterpillars to save the wasp cocoons but all the cocoons had dropped off the caterpillars.......and today when watering I noticed a lot of little wasps flying on and around my black-eyed susans! could they have hatched overnight?

  • Taryn
    on Aug 18, 2013

    Yikes - hornworms! Nasty buggers. We have them on the Papaya tree. Let the vicious little wasps kill them - and save your tomatoes. These are not monarch or any other kind of butterfly. Monarchs host is milkweed. These are moths - and destructive as heck.

  • Pam
    on Aug 19, 2013

    Loren is right ,I had these on my tomatoes before and looked it up ,I knew it was a horn worm ,it's some kind of wasp eggs ,they do kill the worm eventually,and these worms will eat your plant like nobody's business.

  • Estelle Whiddon
    on Aug 19, 2013

    this is a tomato hornworm covered in trichogamma wasp eggs! lucky you! this is an extremely helpful ally in pest control and you have a population that is breeding!

  • Stella Love
    on Aug 19, 2013

    What Estelle Said!

  • Wendy Leib Ehlers
    on Aug 19, 2013

    We had one in our garden and I took the top of the tomato palnt, caterpiller and all and placed it in a large jar covered with an old nylon, to take it to our "Bug Box" and before we got to town with it a couple days later the jar was full of tiny flying ants. Or at least appeared to be ants. A couple days in the jar and the "little fliers" were dead

  • Tlo1435142
    on Mar 18, 2015

    This is a tomato worm and they will kill your tomato plant very quickly by eating it.

Your comment...