The five-spotted hawkmoth (Manduca quinquemaculata) is a brown and gray hawk moth of the Sphingidae family. The caterpillar, often referred to as the tomato hornworm, can be a major pest in gardens.

The first four appeared in our gardens last night (Wed July 18, 2012). Only in Vegetable bed #1 but spread out and only one per plant.

Hornworm eggs are spherical to oval in shape, measure about 1.5 mm (0.059 in) in diameter, and vary in color from light green to white. Eggs are deposited principally on the lower surface of foliage, but also on the upper surface. Duration of the egg stage is two to eight days, but averages five days.

Guess what we will be adding to our twice daily chores around the gardens? Gloves, a bucket and a lot of looking for worm poop on the ground under the tomato plants.