Bizarre & ferocious looking caterpillar emerges as gigantic & beautiful moth
There is a garden "monster", known as the tomato hornworm. They are gigantic caterpillars that devour tomatoes and potatoes in record time. A few hornworms can strip a tomato plant of leaves entirely, killing the plant, and they will even eat the tomatoes. These beasts are so large that you can hear their jaws clicking as they eat. When threatened, the worms will click their jaws as a warning. Capable of actually biting, they are intimidating when full grown. The worms have a formidable spike at the end of their bodies that serves as a deterrent for predators, but they don't have the ability to inflict any actual injury.
They blend in perfectly with tomato leaves. Amazingly, the hornworms glow brightly when illuminated in the dark with a black light. These caterpillar pupate and burrow into the ground, preferring soft dirt to make the burrowing easier. When they emerge, a gigantic moth, called the five-spotted hawk moth is their new form. These moths are one of the largest of all moth species in North America. They will live for 7-10 days but they are not equipped to eat during this stage of their life.
The moths will mate and then lay eggs on tomato, potato, and eggplants so that the cycle can repeat all over again.
The eggs will natch into tiny caterpillars that grow at an astonishing rate, eating constantly and molting several times as they grow.