Silkworms – Discover New Insights..


Silkworms are the larva of a moth (Bombyx mori) indigenous to Asia that spins a cocoon of fine, strong, lustrous fiber which is the source of commercial silk. The culture of silkworms is known as sericulture. The many types of silkworms raised today are distinguished by the caliber of the silk they produce. Silkworms feed on the leaves of the mulberries (genus Morus) and sometimes on the Osage orange (Maclura pomifera).

Bombyx Mori will never bite, making an ideal worm for feeding most reptiles, amphibians as well as other animals, plus they offer great vitamins and minerals.

Newborn are small enough for many baby reptiles to consume and young silkworms can even be fed therefore they will grow to your desired size. Silkworms are soft-bodied, slow moving and can grow to 3 inches in length. They are also relatively fast growing, reaching about 3 inches in length and ready to cocoon after as little as 25 – 28 days.

Silkworms go through four stages of development, as do most insects: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The adult (imago) stage is definitely the silkworm moth. The larva will be the silkworm caterpillar. The pupa is the thing that the silkworm changes into after spinning its cocoon before emerging as being a moth. Because the silkworm grows a great deal, it should shed its skin 4x even though it is growing. These stages-within-a-stage are known as instars.

Today, the silkworm moth lives only in captivity. Silkworms have been domesticated so they can no longer survive independently in general, particularly given that they have lost the cabability to fly. All wild populations are extinct. Also adding to their extinction will be the extraordinary fact they only eat mulberry leaves.

Silkworms have already been used by researchers to analyze pheromones or sexual attractant substances. The pheromones are released by female moths and also the males detect the chemicals with olfactory hairs on their antennae. This permits the male to get the female for mating. The male antennae are made from many small hairs to increase the chances of obtaining small quantities of the pheromones over long distances.

The best way to Grow Your Worms for the Perfect Size

The fantastic thing about silkworms is because they only grow just as much as you feed them, and they can get a week or two without food. Say there is a couple hundred small silkworms, but you do have a big bull frog or iguana. All you have to do is feed the worms as much as they’ll eat, have them warm and dry, and in a few days, you’ll have some good sized worms. Have way too many silkworms? Not an issue, feed them a couple of times every week and they’ll stay alive until you need them without growing larger.

Wash hands thoroughly before handling the worms or perhaps the food or they may develop bacterial problems. Utilizing a cheese grater, grate a modest amount of food onto the worms and repeat till the worms get to the desired size. For best results, maintain temperatures between 78° and 88° F.

Excessive condensation forming in the container after feeding is definitely the leading cause of failure. If the condensation does form, take the lid off your container and permit the container and old food to completely dry. In the future, ensure that the previous food is dry before feeding again. Old damp food is actually a breeding ground for mold as well as other problems, dry food is not really.

Since the silkworms grow, you may have to transfer your worms to a larger plastic container. The lid needs to have ventilation holes. Otherwise, you have to vent the lid and so the silkworms won’t suffocate and to allow condensation to dissipate. You can also use a shoebox. The previous food and waste matter can be removed, but lacks to get if it remains thoroughly dry.

Under ideal conditions (78° to 88° F and able to feed nearly continuously) silkworms can go from egg to 1 inch in size in approximately 12 days, and 3 inches in under 1 month. The worms will start to spin cocoons at about 28 – 1 month old or while they are between 2 1/2 and 3 inches long.

From Cocoon to Moth

Silkworm moths emerge from their cocoons after spending about 2-3 weeks metamorphosing. As moths, they do not eat or fly. They will likely usually mate, lay eggs and die inside a week. Fertile eggs turn from yellow to gray or purple in a week roughly. When the eggs don’t hatch within 3 weeks, they usually is not going to hatch till the following year (see above–from egg to larva).

Proper Handling Procedures

Again, in order for the worms to stay healthy for many weeks, you’ll need to keep the silkworms as dry as is possible. If condensation builds during feeding, vent the container lid to stop excess humidity.

Make sure to wash the hands thoroughly before handling the worms or their food. Silkworms can be vunerable to bacteria should you don’t properly handle them. As long since the container environment remains dry, your worms is going to be fine.

Mold develops from high temperatures and humidity. If the worms are covered with droppings, silk and old food for too long, mold may develop and eliminate the worms. If mold does develop, grate about 1/4 inch of food (sold separately) throughout the worms with a cheese grater. Since the worms crawl for the top in the new food pile you can transfer them off the moldy food ejckoc put them right into a new container.

Silkworms are vunerable to bruising and dying otherwise handled properly, especially as they grow larger. When handling and transferring the worms, be very gentle.