View Full Version : tomato hornworm caterpillar

08-12-2008, 03:32 AM
i bought 6 tomato hornworm caterpillars i want to know how to breed for food

08-12-2008, 08:18 PM
all i know is it's hard to do.
also, if they eat tomato plants they become toxic.


08-13-2008, 09:20 AM
tomatos are toxic!?!?!?!? cous i feed hie tomatos all the time and i gave him 6 of those worms today so

08-13-2008, 10:37 AM
i feed mine cherry tomatoes all the time. they better not be toxic.

08-13-2008, 10:43 AM
ya i feed hi cherry tomatos all the time too

08-13-2008, 11:53 AM
No, it's the leaves. When you buy hornworm larva, they usually come in a cup with pre-made food. This is because there is a chemical (I don't know what) in tomato leaves that makes them toxic. It's similar to why Monarch larva are toxic to birds...it's from feeding on milkweed.

I have raised hornworm to adults before and I can't imagine trying to get them to breed. It's tricky to feed them as adults (liquid Kool-Aid/Gatorade type stuff) successfully, and to make sure they do not escape. They are huge agricultural pests and it is illegal to release them in most states. I imagine there are farmers who would be having heart attacks if they knew we were talking about breeding them, LOL!

You know, if you ask any place that sells them, I'm sure they would be happy to talk with you. Try emailing mulberryfarms.com

08-13-2008, 09:08 PM
ok i havent seen any change in him sence i fed him so i usume hes ok

08-13-2008, 09:22 PM
yea, tomatos are fine, little acidic, but fine. it's the leaves like laura said, tomatos are in the nightshade family. nasty little group of plants.