While we were taking care of our vegetable garden, we found this little caterpillar. We didn't know at the time what type it was, but thought best to bring him to the field, in a home that would suit us better. I was curious to know what kind it was though, so last night Adrienne and I did a bit of googling.
We found out that the caterpillar is the Tomato Hornworm and by itself is actually quite a threat to the garden. It likes to eat the leaves of tomato plants as well as pepper plants and others. I found our orange sweet peppers had big holes in them a few days ago. Now I am pretty sure it was from this guy, as there were black droppings all around the pepper plants too.
The little white things you see all over the hornworm are parasites. They are the eggs of a small species of wasps. Once the eggs hatch, they feed on the caterpillar and also on any other hornworm catterpillars that might be around, which turns this into a helpful critter for the garden!
How interesting that a parasite can be a good thing!
You can read more about the Tomato Hornwormhereand the type with the wasp eggshere. and here.