Way back in June I posted pictures of my lush summer garden in Where Are the Tomato Hornworms When You Need ‘Em? In the post I lamented that even with an over-abundance of garden finery, there were no tomato or tobacco hornworms to be found. Most often the hornworms of my gardens of the past were of the tobacco classification (Manduca sexta), being primarily distinguished from the tomato variety (Manduca quinquemaculata) by their red-orange horn, verses a blue-black one. The caterpillar in Big Bug I is thus technically a tobacco hornworm.
Even with many hornworm-compatible Solanaceae plants including tomato, eggplant, various peppers, and even Nicotiana rustica, neither the larvae of Manduca quinquemaculata or Manduca sexta were to be found in my summer garden. However, upon a generous donation from a fellow gardener and hornworm-lover, I have recently received a delectable pair named Pepper and Pickle, who have taken residence in my fall garden.
If all goes according to genetic and divine plan, Pickle and Pepper will soon be someone like this: