Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, revised

As I mentioned in a previous post about my garden, I have had one major casualty. I was looking at the bell peppers in my garden when I noticed one of the plants looked really strange. When I looked closer, I found this:

To say I was disappointed was an understatement. I love sweet peppers (especially the yellow-red colors) but they can blow my budget in just one trip. So my hope was to grow some myself. Out of the three plants, this one was the most promising, as it sported two peppers. Still, I quickly thought about how cool it would be to put this caterpillar in a bug keeper and watch it make a cocoon. I even was excited about sharing my beet greens with it.

However, unlike Eric Carle's caterpillar, this one was quite particular about what it ate. It totally ignored those beet greens. In fact, I decided to look into it and it's called a hornworm. These creatures are very specific to pepper and tomato plants (as well as some other related plants). Then I also found out that this one doesn't make a cocoon, rather it digs itself into the ground and then submerges as a moth. Oh well, so much for that. So I set it on the sidewalk to fend for itself.

Well, I'm just glad there was just one. It caused enough damage as it was. I would be really devastated if they were all over the place.

On the bright side, I found out there was new growth on my hanging cherry tomato plant (the one I thought had died). A nice surprise!


  1. Fabulous pics of the caterpillar. I think it is totally unfair that he won't at least make a cocoon for you since he munched away all those yummy peppers.

  2. I agree, it doesn't seem fair. But I was a lot more vigilant after that.

  3. Um, I was hoping for a birthday cake photo! :)

    We also had one of these ugly guys!