Tobacco hornworms, now they come in 2 colors?

bugmankeith

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I came upon this image of tobacco hornworms, there are clearly 2 different color forms, including the "black form". What causes this.

 

Takumaku

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Hornworms are naturally blue, due to a blue bile pigment in their system. When they feed on fresh living plant tissue they obtain a yellow pigment. Of course yellow and blue make green so you get a nice green hornworm. When they are raised on the artificial diet they do not get the yellow plant pigment and retain their natural blue color.
 

froggyman

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eew that blue makes them even more disgusting. BTW do hornworms make good food for T's?
 

Gigas

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Well nicotine isn't good for bugs so i wouldn't ttry it
 

bugmankeith

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Hornworms are naturally blue, due to a blue bile pigment in their system. When they feed on fresh living plant tissue they obtain a yellow pigment. Of course yellow and blue make green so you get a nice green hornworm. When they are raised on the artificial diet they do not get the yellow plant pigment and retain their natural blue color.


That makes this question still unsolved then, both of these were fed on artificial diet, so according to what you said, shouldnt they all be blue?
 

Takumaku

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1) Can you be certain that some of these hornworms were not wild caught?
2) If cb that the suppliers were the same. Different suppliers use different diets. Some contain natural plant material, and some do not.


Might as well add this info too (black form).
Hornworms [due to temperature] when hatching, undergo a temperature dependency color change known as "polyphenism". Hornworms emerge green when temperatures are above 28°C and black when it's cooler. Note: this color is after they have been observed feeding.
 

bugmankeith

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Different suppliers use different diets. Some contain natural plant material, and some do not.


Ok, I think that would answer that then. :)

Hornworms [due to temperature] when hatching, undergo a temperature dependency color change known as "polyphenism". Hornworms emerge green when temperatures are above 28°C and black when it's cooler. Note: this color is after they have been observed feeding.

Hmm, mabye this is because the darker body color attracts more heat, being they hatched in cooler weather. Similar to animals with fur that grow a longer coat if the weather become colder. Interesting though very interesting.
 

Tleilaxu

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Alright picks of the black ones or they are not real LOL.
 

bugmankeith

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Alright picks of the black ones or they are not real LOL.

I honestly dont get your joke?

Black hornworms do exist
 

Galapoheros

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I see a green generation and a brown generation of some hornworm sp. The brown ones are eating before the Fall so they can over winter in their cocoon. The Spring generation is green. The Polyphemus caterpillars do the same thing, a green and a brown generation of cats. I didn't consider the heat absorption thing, that's interesing. I feel like I can usually take a good guess at "why", but I'm having a hard time with this one. Other than heat, the Fall colors start to show up, but the caterpillars are usually through eating by then so that doesn't fit real well with a camouflage theory ....I guess. Somebody knows.
 

crashergs

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I purchase those sometimes for my centipedes and bearded dragon, you can purchase hornworms at

www.mulberryfarms.com

those people are phenomenal customer service and always, ALWAYS give you more than what they say. I get their crickets, silkworms, hornworms and usually next day shipping if you live in california, and 2nd day shipping throughout the US.

their hornworms are fed hornworm chow
 
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