photo of the day (invasion of the tomato hornworm averted)

We left New Jersey early to avoid the holiday weekend traffic coming home. After unloading the car, I went outside to check and see how my garden fared while I was gone and I found this poor unfortunate creature hanging out on one of my tomato plants.

He (she?) is a tomato hornworm. The white things hanging on to his body are parasitic wasp larvae that feed off the poor hornworm until they hatch. It is a double edged sword here for a few reasons. On one hand the tomato hornworm eats tomatoes. On the other hand, the tomato hornworm grows up to be the very cool hummingbird moth.

So on the one hand, I didn’t want him feeding on my tomatoes but on the other hand, I didn’t want to kill him either (I guess the wasp parasites were all ready doing the nasty deed for me.) So I moved him out of the garden and am letting nature take his course. Kinda sad, really.

~ by photobella on 1 September, 2008.

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