Tomato Worms - Knowledgebase Question

Concord, CA
Question by Sunny3d
March 5, 1999
I have noticed the big, green worms on tomatoes called tomato worms. Do the tomato worms form into butterflys? I have also noticed many little white butterflys fluttering around and wondered of there was a connection between the two.

Answer from NGA
March 5, 1999


Tomato hornworms are big and green with white stripes on their sides and a pointy 'horn' on the back. They are the larval stage of a large brown or gray moth with stripes on their wings. The adults have a 4"-5" wingspan and feed at twilight. The white butterflies could be adult cabbage moths, especially if they have a charcoal gray or black dot on each wing. They are not related, but both are considered pests in the vegetable garden. Hand pick the caterpillars if you find them on tomato, cabbage, broccoli, or cauliflower plants.

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