Gardening has become one of my favorite summertime hobbies and I even have the sun-burned shoulders to prove it. This weekend, I noticed that my pepper plants were in bad shape. Terrible shape actually as all of their leaves had disappeared. One of the plants was even growing a pepper, but the leaves on the rest of the plant were gone.
I looked around and found the culprits hiding in my tomato plant. WARNING: Shield your eyes if you are grossed out by alien looking bugs.
A really weird, alien looking caterpillar! This guy was a far cry from the cute fuzzy caterpillars I used to play with as a kid. This one was huge and has a pattern that looks like little eyes down its body. I did some Googling and through this cool caterpillar identifying website, found out that this is a Carolina Sphinx Caterpillar. Also known as a tobacco hornworm (similar to the tomato hornworm).
Sure enough, these guys love to munch on tomato and pepper plants. Since they're so big, they can be sneaky and eat an entire plant pretty quickly before anyone notices. I found three of them hiding in my tomato plants. I had no idea caterpillars could get so big, and weird looking. Have you ever come across one of these?
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