I have been waiting for this creature to show up in my garden this summer. I had one last summer that ate half of my tomato plant. The dreaded hornworm is 3 inches long. Its size enables it to defoliate tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and peppers quickly.
I spotted this hungry caterpillar while watering my pepper plant. At first I thought my plant had developed some sort of mutation. The green on the caterpillar blended in so well that it was hard to spot.
These caterpillars also don't like heat and sunlight, so they feed on the interior of a plant during the day and move to the outside of a plant at dusk. This explains the missing leaves that I have been seeing on my plants.
I pried it off with the lid of a jar. It clung really tight with amazing strength to the stem of the pepper plant. I had to use all my strength to get it off.
I took it away from garden and out of my yard to some wild grape leaves. After the quick emergency removal, I took a photo to share.
Hornworms turn into large sphinx or hawk moths that fly at night and are rarely seen. A few species can be seen on cloudy days or at dusk feeding on flowers and look like tiny hummingbirds