Whole Leaf Tobacco

Why a Particular Tobacco Plant Gets More Hornworm Eggs

deluxestogie

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I've noticed over the years that when I find a tobacco hornworm egg on a particular tobacco plant, that I am more likely to find one again on that plant or its immediate neighbor. Do they like this variety more than others? Is it a difference in ambient lighting at night? Are there other factors that cause these egg laying repeats?

From this study, it appears to be a learned preference. If laying an egg on a particular plant was a nice experience, then they return to the same plant the next time.

"...even a single egg-laying experience was sufficient to direct a moth's interest to the very plant on which an egg had previously been laid."
"Naïve moths, which had not previously laid an egg on a plant, showed an innate preference for the leaves of sacred datura."


This study also raises in my mind the question of whether intentionally planting sacred Datura near a tobacco bed may draw hawkmoths (i.e. hornworms) away from my tobacco. Well, one look at a random, sacred Datura plant gave me the answer: a resounding, "Nope. Looks awful, and is too large."

Datura_wrightii_Gignac.jpg


Bob
 

Oldfella

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@Oldfella has some ornamental Jasmine tobacco that seems to get a lot of attention.


View attachment 39090

But he doesn't know about Hornworms. We don't have any. It would be worth a shot, I'd say that you may still have to kill any bugs you find because as soon as they've eaten all the Jasmine they'll get stuck into the Tobacco.
Oldfella
 
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