- Scientific Name: Manduca quinquemaculata
- Lifespan: Approximately 4-5 weeks.
- Handling: Hornworms are handable but may try to hit you with their heads in defensive and may even try to bite.
- Size: Approximately 3-4 inches.
- Care: Easy
- Community: Yes, as long as you have lots of room for them to move around.
- Lifestyle: Nocturnal, active at night.
When you buy hornworms, you will most likely buy them in deli cup or a ‘pod’. This type of enclosure is perfectly fine to keep them in, but if you are looking to make your own enclosure for them to allow maximum movement and to allow for more cleanness, follow the directions below…
1) Get a sterilite 6Qt (5.7 L) Tupperware container and cut out a big hole in the lid, then hot glue some screen to it.
2) Get gutter guard to seperate the worms from the poop.
3) Cut the gutter guard to fit into the container.
4) Get a few bottle caps and place them beneath the gutter guard before you place the gutter guard in the container to allow some space for the poop to fall into.
5) Get your hornworm food and worms and put them into the container.
No furnishing is needed.
Lighting and Heating
Hornworms do not need any special lighting whatsoever. The only thing they need is a source of heat through a normal house bulb or heat lamp.
Temperatures should be…
70 – 85 °F is recommended.
No lights are necessary. 70 – 75 °F is recommended. If it is too cold to achieve this temperature without lights, I recommend using a heat emitter or a reptile infrared heat light. Make sure to check temps at night, to reassure the temps are good to avoid stress.
When you usually buy hornworms, they will most likely come in a pod with food already in there for them. However, the food that usually comes with your worms will usually only last them about a week or so (depending on size of worms). So the odds are, you will most likely need extra food for them. Unfortunately, the only food that they eat are either a commercial food diet sold specially for them or toxic foods that are very bad for your reptiles and amphibians if you are feeding the worms to them. Hornworms need a hornworm chow made specially for them which you can get from an online supplier. You may buy it made already or powdered which you will then have to mix and make yourself. Making it yourself will be more difficult for you, but will save you more money if you choose to do so. The other way would be the ‘toxic way’ and is not recommended if you are feeding these worms to reptiles and amphibians. The ‘toxix way’ would be feeding them pepper, tomato, or tobacco leaves.
All in all,
- If you are feeding these hornworms to amphibians and reptiles, use the hornworm chow.
- If you are wanting to keep them as pets or even study them, you may feed them pepper, tomato, or tobacco leaves.
When feeding your worms, make sure to only feed enough for that one day. Because the hornworms need a dry enclosure, the food will most likely dry fast if feeding in large amounts of food.
Humidity and Hydration
Humidity should be low. Too much humidity will most likely wipe out your colony of worms. Humidity builds up bacteria and mold in a hornworms enclosure.
Hormworms will get all their hydration from their hornworm chow. No water bowls need to be included in their enclosures.
The best substrate for hornworms, is no substrate. This will make cleaning the container a lot more easier.