Racine, Wisconsin — A tobacco hornworm caterpillar (Manduca sexta, often confused with the tomato hornworm caterpillar) is seen devouring tomato plants in our backyard.

As is detailed in our blog, when we first spotted this caterpillar on our tomato plants, we were hoping it was going to become something beautiful, like maybe a swallowtail butterfly.

Wikipedia offers: “A mnemonic to remember the markings is tobacco hornworms have straight white lines like cigarettes, while tomato hornworms have V-shaped markings (as in “vine-ripened” tomatoes).”

Both tomato and tobacco plants are members of the same Nightshade (Solanaceae) plant family.