Saturday, August 4, 2007
08.03.07 NATURAL PEST CONTROL
This gruesome looking fellow is a tobacco horn worm (Manduca sexta)(or possibly a tomato horn worm, since they look very much alike). It loves to gobble up the leaves of my tomatoes. But this caterpillar has met his match. He has been parasitized by the wasp Cotesia congregatus. This wasp laid its eggs on the young caterpillar which the growing larva used as food. When the wasp larva pupate they form these little silk coccoons all over the host. This caterpillar is just about dead having suffered a huge onslaught of the tiny guys. We will leave him so that the little wasps remain in the garden for future pest control work.