Solanum dimidiatum

I have been looking for a hornworm on the nightshade Western Horse Nettle (Solanum dimidiatum) for a number of years. I have yet to ever see one on any of the Solanums except for a tomato plant. Have any of you? But I have found interesting insects from Colorado Potato Beetles to Soybean Loopers and many more. Here is some of what I found today.

Many species of small spiders can be found on Solanums.

Do you notice the frass/poop on the plant? Something has been there. Look closer!

Love it!

It is the Eggplant Tortoise Beetle (Gratiana pallidula) larva! I tipped its fecal matter back to get the shot. “The larvae carry their cast skins and fecal material attached to spines arising from the posterior end of their body, a structure called an “anal fork.” The anal fork is movable, and is used to hold the debris over the back of the body, forming a “shield” which deters predation.” (source: BugGuide). Pretty clever eh!

This is the adult. It is about 4-5 mm.

I found several of the Blister beetles (Epicauta immaculata) on the nightshade. They seemed to favor eating the flowers.

I saw these yellowing leaves so I turned it over.

This is what I found! A whole nest!

They are the Eggplant Lace Bug (Gargaphia solani) newly hatched nymphs!

The larva grows up to be the Eggplant Lace Bug (Gargaphia solani). Full grown it is about 3mm. Another cool insect!

A weevil on the flower.

Blister Beetle and bee.

Keep looking!


  1. Wow, a world of wonder on a single plant! I’ve never seen a hornworm on this species either. I’m growing eggplant in my veggie garden so I’ll start looking for these cool insects. No pesticides allowed!

    1. Let me know if the hornworms come to your eggplant and which species please. I have never seen the caterpillar for the Five-spotted Hawk Moth or Tomato Hornworm Moth Manduca quinquemaculatus. Only seen the adult one time stuck to a barb on a fence. I would love to raise one. (Hint๐Ÿ˜‰) When I grew tomatoes I saw only Carolina Sphinx or Tobacco Hornworm Manduca sexta.

  2. No pesticides here either Suzanne. Have really never had serious problem. Not sure why folks think they must have them. Of course i only have small area to tend.

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