|Tobacco Hornworm on Datura|
In spite of the tobacco in its name, Datura species plants are also a hornworm favorite. The genus Datura includes Jimson weed and various thorn-apples (see the thorn-apple in the picture). Datura are members of the Solanaceae family, which includes tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, tobacco, petunia and even the deadly nightshade.
|Carolina Sphinx Moth- Wikimedia|
Because of their large size, short life cycle and ease of feeding they are used in research settings as well as classrooms. Research includes neurobiology, flight mechanisms and larval nicotine resistance. Given their contributions to research and their habit of eating tobacco, I can almost forgive them for chewing the occasional tomato.
Read more: Datura and Hornworms | eHow.com http://entomology.unl.edu/k12/caterpillars/hornworm/hornwormpage.html