|University of Kentucky Department of Entomology|
Mystery Bug Answers
Mystery Picture #54
Tobacco hornworms are the larval form of a large, dark brown moth called the tobacco hornworm moth. The tobacco hornworm is named because it is often found on tobacco, and because of its large red "horn." These caterpillars are sometimes pests of tobacco. They also occasionally damage tomato plants and are sometimes called "tomato hornworms."
The tobacco hornworm caterpillar can get to be three inches long. They can be frightening to look at, but they are harmless. The red "horn" cannot sting- it is actually very soft.
Try http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~insect/field/hornworm.htm for tobacco hornworm pictures and info!
You may have seen one of these Cave Crickets in a basement or a garage. They are found in caves too, which explains their common name.
When folks find cave or camel crickets in their homes, they are often startled by their unusual appearance. Cave crickets are wingless, humpbacked, and big. Their bodies can be up to one inch long, and their antennae can be even longer than that. Females have a long "ovipositor" (a device used to lay eggs) which can add another inch.
Although these crickets are often found in caves, they can be found in just about any sheltered, dark place. Hollow trees, basements, and garages are all common habitats for these insects, where they feed on decaying vegetation.
There is another great picture of a cave or camel cricket at: http://entowww.tamu.edu/images/insects/common/images/a-txt/aimg18.html
This page is maintained by Pat Dillon, Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky. Please send questions or suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org