Identifying Hornworms

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Two species of hornworm caterpillars feed on tobacco and other plants. Tobacco hornworms (Manduca sexta) and tomato hornworms (Manduca quinquemaculata) are easy to confuse. They both have similar appearance, life cycles, and eat some of the same host plants. Mature caterpillars of either of these pests can quickly defoliate tobacco and tomato plants. We made a video that describes their lifecycle and illustrates key characters to tell these two species apart.

More information

Tobacco and tomato hornworms – Tobacco Growers Information Portal

How to Identify Two Common HornwormsNC Small Fruit and Tobacco IPM Channel

Written By

Photo of Aurora Toennisson, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionAurora ToennissonResearch Associate (919) 513-4344 tatoenni@ncsu.eduEntomology and Plant Pathology - NC State University

Contributing Specialist

Photo of Hannah Burrack, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDr. Hannah BurrackAssoc. Professor and Extension Specialist (Berry, Tobacco and Specialty Crops) (919) 513-4344 hannah_burrack@ncsu.eduEntomology and Plant Pathology - NC State University
Updated on Feb 24, 2014
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