|Rick's Habenero pepper plant was producing peppers
like crazy. Then one day I noticed leaves "missing". There was
also an abundance of small, round, black balls on the dirt. I was
assuming the balls to be some sort of bug "poop". I have been
watching the plant carefully and last week it was almost totally eaten
away! Saturday I went out for another look. I had been carefully
inspecting the plant when all of a sudden I realized there was a huge
caterpillar attached to one of the stems! This guy must have been there
all along, to have done this much damage. First I ran and got the
camera. Then I quickly got on my computer and did some research. I got
this information from the University of Missouri's Extension site. I
also dusted his other pepper plant with Sevin. Sunday morning our little
visitor was no where in sight!
The Tobacco Hornworm has seven oblique white lines on each side of its body. The upper borders of these lines are outlined in black, and the prominent horn (spine) at the posterior end of the body is usually red. It feeds mostly on tobacco and tomato, although they have been known to feed on egg plant, pepper and potato. Another interesting thing is that these guys turn into the Hummingbird Moth!
His head is pointing down. Look close and you can see his "horn" By the way, he was as thick as my finger.
Here is a close up of him.
And here is the damage he did to the