HUGE Black Caterpillar, what is it????

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#1
My boyfriend found a huge black caterpillar of some kind today. He was moving it as he thought it was a dog turd, but it moved! Look at the pictures and you'll see what I mean. I did a google search but turned up nothing. Can anyone tell me what it is? We are near Houston, TX if that helps.
 

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Kale

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#2
Had a reply it went into cyber space! I held down on shift for a capital and lost everything!

Here you go again..
Did it wiggle aimlessly or try to get away with a mission?
Does it have legs of any kind?
A head?
I’m guessing a Moth of some kind,
not sure what you have living in Texas.
I can be a sac for a bunch of bug babies*lol
Where exactly was it. On the lawn or dirt?


Kale:)
 
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#4
it just wiggled rather slowly, it was on the ground in some leaves. We think it is probably a moth of some kind but I couldn't find any info so see what kind. I even looked in books at the library. Everyopne has pics onf the moth or butterfly and not its pupa case. Charles put it in a better place on the ground so it wouldn't get stepped on and then we never saw it again. Still would like to know what kind of critter it becomes though.
 
K

Kale

Guest
#5
Went peeking around I think it may be a giant Black Horse Fly. I read you guys down there have large critters!
Put that booger in a container*LOL
If found on soil put soil under it, if found on grass give him that*lol
Is there a place on him that he/she/it may have been attached to something then fell or blew off of?
How big in reality is it?

Just read your reply...
Oh no!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh well.
If a large something comes flying at you let us know!*LOL

Kale:)
 

RonsGarden

Super Moderator
Staff member
#6
My boyfriend found a huge black caterpillar of some kind today. He was moving it as he thought it was a dog turd, but it moved! Look at the pictures and you'll see what I mean. I did a google search but turned up nothing. Can anyone tell me what it is? We are near Houston, TX if that helps.
It is a sphinx moth pupae! Looks like it will be a large moth when it emerges from its chrysalis! Not sure what species it is though, since there are quite a few that burrow underground!
 
K

Kale

Guest
#9
Sphinx moth pupae isn't that the tomato hornworm?
This is the phase before the worm comes out?
One single worm?
:eek::eek::confused:


Kale:rolleyes:
 

Crabbergirl

Super Moderator
Staff member
#13
Ron is absolutley correct. If you keep it in the some type conditions you found it you can actually hatch it. I like to keep them in my plant room and when they hatch I know it's spring!
 
K

Kale

Guest
#14
Ok.. so it turns in to the yukk before it turns into a moth! It is the cocoon like I thought..only the place it was found threw me off.

Oh.. o.k. it doesn't attach itself like a butterfly?!! Interesting...the next stage is a moth, I can agree with that*LOL Thank you!

You can do that with Preying Mantis! or just watch what buds or blooms or has completed its flowering life cycle:)
I do all before my veggie babies are transplanted.

Kale:)
 
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RonsGarden

Super Moderator
Staff member
#15
Here's a bit of trivia for everyone on Sphinx Moth (Tomato Hornworm) life cycle:
Eggs laid on tobacco or tomato leaves;
Eggs hatch and start to eat the leaves;
Larvae continues to grow to maturity:
When full grown climbs down off the plants and burrow underground;
They line the burial chamber with silk:
When done, it sheds its skin and become a crysalis;
Pupae remains dorment through the winter months, slowly changing!
When the soil temp reach the low 70Fs, the new moth emerges sheds its pupal skin then digs out of the burial chamber to reach the soil surface;
At this point the wings expand as fluid is pumped into the veins stretching the wings to full size;
Moth crawls, or flies looking for a safe spot to wait for a gardener to go out and plant their tomatos and or tobacco;
Then the cycle starts all over again!
 
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#16
YIKES! If I am not mistaken, if that moth or caterpillar lays eggs on a tobacco leaf, or comes into contact with a tobacco leaf and then goes after a tomato plant, it's possible that the worm could transmit the tobacco mosaic virus to the tomato. It would have to come in contact with a type of tobacco that carries the virus, and I don't know what kind that would be. Thankfully, I'm no longer a smoker. But for anyone who DOES smoke, don't touch your tomato plants after smoking. You could unknowingly transmit the virus to your own tomatoes.
 

RonsGarden

Super Moderator
Staff member
#17
YIKES! If I am not mistaken, if that moth or caterpillar lays eggs on a tobacco leaf, or comes into contact with a tobacco leaf and then goes after a tomato plant, it's possible that the worm could transmit the tobacco mosaic virus to the tomato. It would have to come in contact with a type of tobacco that carries the virus, and I don't know what kind that would be. Thankfully, I'm no longer a smoker. But for anyone who DOES smoke, don't touch your tomato plants after smoking. You could unknowingly transmit the virus to your own tomatoes.
I do believe you are right Susan!
Most tomato hybrids are rust and mosaic resistant, so it really isn't much of an issue unless you are growing heirloom varieties!
 

Crabbergirl

Super Moderator
Staff member
#18
You are right Susan however they make great science lessons and I know how Kale loves her bugs and insects.;) The idea is keeping it contained hatching it and then pinning it to a board or as Kale likes to do scope it out.They are actually beautiful.
 
#19
Maybe it made it's way from my yard to yours! I had a hornworm in the front yard last summer that was apparently leaving after dining on two pepper plants in the garden. It was a beautiful green catepillar. about four inches long...earlier stage, I guess. I did a lot of research back then because I didn't know what the heck it was. Sphinx moth is adult otbacco hornworm; Five-spotted Hawk Moth is adult tomato hornworm..but both are sometimes called the Hummingbird Moth and have wing spans of 4-5 inches. Hope I never see the moth! I'd run.
 


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