Rearing caterpillars & frass champions

It's been a poopy hornworm day on both fronts--school and home. Hornworms are those ENORMOUS CAMOUFLAGED DEVOURERS wiping your tomato and pepper plants right off the map.

Caterpillar poop is called "frass", and hornworms are the Texas State Fair champions of frass. They would hold the Olympic World Title of frass if they cared about anything besides eating. They are so good at what they do naturally that it's frightening to consider the possibility of hornworms training with coaches named "Bela" and using performance enhancers.

Tomato hornworms [which are actually hawk moth caterpillars, not worms] are a major garden pest, so I went to the source for pest info, Insects in the City, for a factsheet. Scrolling down through the insect pests I found:

Asps & Other Stinging Caterpillars
Rearing Caterpillars

This made sense in a confused super-cowgirl mindset. Hornworms do have those nasty pronghorns on their bezoozies. They rear up in a threatening manner then hold very tight when school kids are trying to pluck them off the tomato plants. I bet Slim Pickens could ride a rearing hornworm into a nuclear detonation, and it would still keep eating and creating frass.

© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...