Tomato Hornworm color variation based on host

I recently got an infestation of Tomato Hornworms (Manduca sexta) on my tomato plant and turned it into an excuse to do a casual experiment. I decided to raise them on several different hosts to see if there was any color variation as I remembered seeing a silvery Manduca quinquemaculata on Silverleaf Nightshade. Anyway, the associated observations tell the story.

They were raised on the following plant species:
Raised on Proboscidea louisianica (Devil's Claw).

Initially collected as pests on my tomato plant. Initial observation here.
Caterpillars from the same batch raised on multiple different plants as follows (click on name to see observation):
Solanum lycopersicum (Tomato)
Solanum tuberosum (Potato)
Solanum elaeagnifolium (Silver-leaf Nightshade):
28 Jun 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)
4 Jul 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)
Solanum rostratum (Buffalo Bur)
Proboscidea louisianica (Devil's Claw):
28 Jun 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)
4 Jul 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)

When they started out, they looked like this: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/13592914. Some were so young that they were yellow instead of green.

I decided to let them go today as the tomato creates a lot of humidity in a little vial which caused problems. Also, my potato plants can't keep up with the caterpillar's needs. Despite this, I still might be able to check on the caterpillars started on native plants as I released them on the same plants they were raised on.

Posted by nathantaylor nathantaylor, June 29, 2018 03:52

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Carolina Sphinx (Manduca sexta)

Observer

nathantaylor

Date

June 28, 2018 08:23 PM CDT

Description

Raised on Proboscidea louisianica (Devil's Claw).

Initially collected as pests on my tomato plant. Initial observation here.
Caterpillars from the same batch raised on multiple different plants as follows (click on name to see observation):
Solanum lycopersicum (Tomato)
Solanum tuberosum (Potato)
Solanum elaeagnifolium (Silver-leaf Nightshade):
28 Jun 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)
4 Jul 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)
Solanum rostratum (Buffalo Bur)
Proboscidea louisianica (Devil's Claw):
28 Jun 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)
4 Jul 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)

Photos / Sounds

What

Carolina Sphinx (Manduca sexta)

Observer

nathantaylor

Date

June 28, 2018 08:25 PM CDT

Description

Raised on Proboscidea louisianica (Devil's Claw).

Initially collected as pests on my tomato plant. Initial observation here.
Caterpillars from the same batch raised on multiple different plants as follows (click on name to see observation):
Solanum lycopersicum (Tomato)
Solanum tuberosum (Potato)
Solanum elaeagnifolium (Silver-leaf Nightshade):
28 Jun 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)
4 Jul 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)
Solanum rostratum (Buffalo Bur)
Proboscidea louisianica (Devil's Claw):
28 Jun 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)
4 Jul 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)

Photos / Sounds

What

Carolina Sphinx (Manduca sexta)

Observer

nathantaylor

Date

June 28, 2018 08:27 PM CDT

Description

Raised on Proboscidea louisianica (Devil's Claw).

Initially collected as pests on my tomato plant. Initial observation here.
Caterpillars from the same batch raised on multiple different plants as follows (click on name to see observation):
Solanum lycopersicum (Tomato)
Solanum tuberosum (Potato)
Solanum elaeagnifolium (Silver-leaf Nightshade):
28 Jun 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)
4 Jul 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)
Solanum rostratum (Buffalo Bur)
Proboscidea louisianica (Devil's Claw):
28 Jun 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)
4 Jul 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)

Photos / Sounds

What

Carolina Sphinx (Manduca sexta)

Observer

nathantaylor

Date

June 28, 2018 08:31 PM CDT

Description

Raised on Proboscidea louisianica (Devil's Claw).

Initially collected as pests on my tomato plant. Initial observation here.
Caterpillars from the same batch raised on multiple different plants as follows (click on name to see observation):
Solanum lycopersicum (Tomato)
Solanum tuberosum (Potato)
Solanum elaeagnifolium (Silver-leaf Nightshade):
28 Jun 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)
4 Jul 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)
Solanum rostratum (Buffalo Bur)
Proboscidea louisianica (Devil's Claw):
28 Jun 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)
4 Jul 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)

Photos / Sounds

What

Carolina Sphinx (Manduca sexta)

Observer

nathantaylor

Date

June 28, 2018 08:33 PM CDT

Description

Raised on Proboscidea louisianica (Devil's Claw).

Initially collected as pests on my tomato plant. Initial observation here.
Caterpillars from the same batch raised on multiple different plants as follows (click on name to see observation):
Solanum lycopersicum (Tomato)
Solanum tuberosum (Potato)
Solanum elaeagnifolium (Silver-leaf Nightshade):
28 Jun 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)
4 Jul 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)
Solanum rostratum (Buffalo Bur)
Proboscidea louisianica (Devil's Claw):
28 Jun 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)
4 Jul 2018 (same individual or group of individuals)

Comments

Interesting study. Who but you, Nathan, would have the imagination to pursue such an activity.

Posted by connlindajo over 4 years ago (Flag)

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