Two tomato problems and stegosaurus worm...friend or foe?

Got what I believe are two issues affecting two tomato plants and found an interesting worm.
First the worm...my first thought was "stegosaurus" :-)
http://members.aol.com/digitalvinyl66/tomatostegosaurusworm.jpg
. . . Friend or foe? I'm assuming foe..those white things on its back can't be good.
first tomato prob...
My Burpee Burger had drainage probs, the lower leaves rotted badly growth slowed. I fixed the prob and growth resumed rather healthy. However I just cleaned off a dozen more dead branches. They yellow then rot right down from the tip to the node where they attach to the stem. They snap off cleanly at the node with very little pressure. Lower leaves affected first, plenty of new growth(only on top though) and new fruit. Haven't been able to spot bugs. The lower portion is fairly nude and not branching out, but has 8 medium to large beefsteaks on it and a new flush of small ones up top.
Here is one branch that is on its way.
http://members.aol.com/digitalvinyl66/tomatorottingbranches.jpg
It will die completely back to the stem. Just a matter of time.
second tomato prob...
just spotted this on Burpee Healthy Kick. Otherwise very lush healthy plant, dozens of roma tomatoes on it five feet tall bush. Lower leaves showing probs. Blackish-brown spots developing between veins on groups of leaves. At first I thought Early Blight, but the spots don't quite the same as examples I'm seeing on the net. No concentric circles and they don't border veins at all like Early Blight.
http://members.aol.com/digitalvinyl66/tomatospots.jpg
On the underside of the bush, I'm spotting yellowing leaves and one bigger blotch. Yellowing may be unrelated to spots. They have green veins..so i'm thinking chlorosis from the heavy rains washing away nutrients. We have had week+ of soaking rains and little sun.
http://members.aol.com/digitalvinyl66/tomatospotsyellowing.jpg
Thanks DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, 1 mile off L.I.Sound 1st Year Gardener
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Okay I recall someone mentioning a tomato horn worm so that was my first guess.
Interestingly enough the stegosaurus spikes are wasp eggs. The page I found recommends leaving the infected worm alone so the wasps will hatch and kill more.
Is that what others do? Leave them to produce wasps/insects?
This worm is only half the full size of 4 inches.
Excerpt from : http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/dp_hfrr/extensn/problems/hornworm.htm
The larva is the damaging stage and feeds on the leaves and stems of the tomato plant and leaving behind dark green or black droppings.
Recommendations: This insect is parasitized by a number of insects. One of the most common is a small braconid wasp. Larva that hatch from wasp eggs laid on the hornworm feed on the inside of the hornworm until the wasp is ready to pupate. The cocoons appear as white projections protruding from the hornworms body. If such projections are seen, leave the hornworms in the garden. The wasps will kill the hornworms when they emerge from the cocoons and will seek out other hornworms to parasitise.
Handpicking is an effective control in small gardens. Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) and other insecticides may also be used to control hornworms.
References:
1. Tomato Hornworm, Cornell University Extension Service
2. Ortho Problem Solver, Ortho Information Services, pg 776
DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, 1 mile off L.I.Sound 1st Year Gardener
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[Follow-ups trimmed to rec.gardens.edible]
On Fri, 08 Aug 2003 21:29:35 GMT, DigitalVinyl

(From my reading) I believe you are correct and this is a tomato hornworm parasitized by something-or-other, most likely a wasp of some type.
I've never seen a tomato hornworm in spite of having grown tomatoes for many years, but if I saw one with eggs on it like this, I would indeed leave it alone.
Ugh. Horrid things.
Pat
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That's what I did last year, and this year I haven't had a single hornworm. Can't say for sure that's the reason, but maybe the wasps wiped them out in the neighborhood. I've never had a year go by without finding hornworms before.
--
Aaron
snipped-for-privacy@esc.pike.il.us
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Hi! Your first problem is a hornworm that eventually will destroy your plant. They work very quickly! The best way to remove them, is to handpick them. Or use a non-toxic spray such as Dipel or Thuricide, both are quite effective. Also those white things are wasps eggs Moving on i'm wondering if it's a rotation problem? I like to give at least two years between crops. I do not plant tomatoes where i had potatoes or eggplants, since some diseases attack all these plants. Or maybe it's weather related? Too much rain, then a sudden hot, dry snap. As far as the early blight thing, what about late blight? This is a serious fungus disease that can hurt fruit production. They do have brown/black spots, and stems to fall off easy. The fungus is caused by a rotted vegetable from the year prior or so that has caused a disease. You might want to try a all-purpose tomato dust. Might help?? Hope this helps you??? Good-luck!!!! peppergirl please check out my website. Click on below.
http://hotcuisine.esmartweb.com /

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Tomato hornworm with wasp eggs on it's back which will eventually kill it after it eats half of your garden. I kill the ones without the eggs and relocate the ones with.

I am seeing two different things here. The dark spots in the first picture look like bacterial spot, similar to the bacterial speck i have had problems with this year. The second photo looks like some choriosis but the circle on one leaf looks a lot like septoria blight to me.
Lee Hall Zone 6B - Tennessee

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