Tomato or Tobacco Hornworm ate my Chile de árbol

This green caterpillar, either a tomato hornworm or tobacco hornworm, ate most of my chili plant.

For the past several months I’ve been growing a chili plant, known as Chile de árbol. It’s grown several nice red chili’s so I was looking forward to many more in the next several weeks.

However, yesterday I noticed something strange. One of the branches seemed to be missing some leaves, I didn’t think much of it, thought perhaps the wind blew them off or something. But the strange part wasn’t the leaves, but some small black pebbles that were on the base and around the planter.

First I thought they were dropping from some rodent, but we’ve never had any and it was strange how they were only around the chili planter. I left it alone and didn’t give it much thought. Then I woke up this morning to a surprise.

Today, the plant was missing 95% of it’s leaves and the black small pebble “droppings” were coming from the large green worm you see above. Overnight it had eaten most of the leaves and literally was munching on the last one on the branch!

Obviously the day before there were warning signs, the missing leaves and black droppings around the base of the planter. The green color of the worm also made it impossible for me to see it unless I was looking for it.

The green worm, according to Wikipedia is either a tomato hornworm or tobacco hornworm. I can’t tell the difference, if you know let me know below with a comment.

As for the chili plant, well I hope it recovers.

Ramon Ambriz

Ramon has been an avid photographer for over 20 years. He runs and contributes to several photography sites including,  Coolest-Travel-Pictures and OCPix. His main expertise is in advertising and online marketing but photography has always remained a top priority.

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