Saturday, October 10, 2009

Anyone know what species caterpillar this is?

I found this caterpillar on my Aster tartarica when I was cutting flowers to bring into the house. I nearly cut him in half! He was as thick as my thumb, and about 4 inches long. Look closely to see his teeth up front! (it is upsidedown in the picture) The flowers are of Aster tartarica. It is in full bloom now, and about 9 feet tall! Next year we plan to cut it back early in the season, before it sets flower buds, so it stays more compact in the garden. Hopefully we will see more of these guys eating it! This plant is so vigorous, I cannot even tell where the caterpillar ate! Thats my personal philosophy....plant enough so the caterpillars and insects can have their fill, in addition to harvesting enough for us to enjoy.


  1. That's a Tobacco Hornworm. They mature as Sphinx Moths. They eat a lot and destroy lot's of foliage. Parasitic wasps are their enemies.

    Leslie S.- Princeton Junction, NJ

  2. So thats what they look like when they start their transition to Pupa! It threw me off since it wasnt bright green. We actually saw 3 parasitized hornworms last summer! This one must have made it past the wasps!