Tuesday, October 10, 2006

hummingbird moths -- amazing!

totally amazing information! as i was trying to find out what the numerous caterpillars are that we seem to be "blessed" with right now, one of my online friends in my botanical arts groups told me something that just totally astounded me.

these tomato hornworms (these are actually the "tobacco worms" b/c they have diagonal lines on them instead of V-shaped lines like the tomato worm), which are familiar to most all gardeners, are the most despised of caterpillars. they eat the foliage off of the plants and can strip a garden bare in no time. the goal of the gardener is to eliminate ALL of these little devils.

these picture were taken in my garden this last summer as these little devils tried to take over my cherry tomato plants. their markings and coloring make them so hard to spot that it's easy to miss them totally until the tops of the plants start looking stripped of all leaves.

same picture, but cropped in a little closer for better view.

i grabbed this big one and put him in a jar to show to raven when she came out. then i decided to lay him out on a white background and take another picture or two. the little dark things in his "feet" is called frass and is left as black droppings on the ground where they have been.

these tomato hornworms and tobacco hornworms actually morph into these beautiful hummingbird moths, which we saw a few of in the front flower garden but didn't know what they were.

the ones we saw here looked like a cross between a bumble bee and a hummingbird, but so similar to a bee that raven didn't want it near her "because it might stung me!" if i hadn't posted the question about the caterpillars, i might not have ever known this amazing tidbit of information!

4 Comments:

Blogger Ruizlim√≥n said...

I have seen this moths in my garden, by the jacaranda. They are beatiful and it's very interesting to see them fly. They really look like a humming bird. Greetings.
Guillermo.

Tue Oct 10, 05:56:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Warren Bunch said...

Well, I do have to admit that Raven wasn't the only scaredy-cat that didn't want those things near her! - Sum

PS - And Jacob-the-snake-pansy prolly wouldn't want these on him, either!!!

Wed Oct 11, 10:37:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Cynthia Padilla said...

That is a stunning photo Jill I dont know that I have ever seen this critter...hummingbird moth? Approx how long was it?
Cynthia
How to Start a Nature Journal
http://www.gardenandhearth.com/SketchingandDrawing/Nature-Journal.htm

Sat Dec 16, 01:00:00 PM CST  
Blogger SideShowMom said...

Those are really neat! I love how the catepillar blends in so well and the wings of the moth! Great photos Jill!!

Yeah, I should be painting!!!

Tue Feb 20, 02:53:00 PM CST  

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