University of Florida

Tomato Hornworm

Protoparce quinquemaculata

  • Adult: light gray, spindle-shaped moth with narrow wings, abdomen with 5 pairs of quadrangular orange-yellow spots, active at dusk, with a 4-5 in. wing span.
  • Egg: large, greenish-yellow, found singly on upper and lower leaf surfaces, hatch in 7 days
  • Larva: large, green caterpillar with 8 white V or L shaped markings along each side, horn at end of body, 3 - 4 in. at maturity, larval stage lasts 21-28 days.
  • Pupa: brown, 2 in. long, found in soil, adult emerges in 21 days.
  • Generation Time: 49-56 days.
  • Damage: larvae consume foliage, often leaving only main veins in tact. Heavily parasitized and rarely a pest in Florida.

Tomato hornworm Pictures

hornworm adult
Image #27.
Tomato and Tobacco hornworm - larva

(tobacco hornworm shown) is a voracious feeder of foliage but uncommon due to high parasitism, especially of eggs.