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Oriental Silkworm

Moths & Silkworms

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Coming from China, the Oriental Silkworm produces a
unique strand of silk

The Silkworm is the larval stage of the Oriental Silkworm
Moth, scientifically Bombyx mori, although few would know
anything about the moth were it not for its very famous
larvae. The Silkworm originated in Asia, and is probably the
only entirely domesticated insect in the world.

Through the past five thousand years in China the Oriental
Silkworm Moth has been bred into an insect that as a
caterpillar is relatively immobile and as an adult has wings
too small to fly and almost no mouth parts. The Silkworm has
one basic function and ability: the pupae spins a cocoon of
one long strand of silk from three hundred to nine hundred
meters long. Its silk when processed into thread has great
strength and when tightly woven into fabric the result has a
beautiful sheen unequaled in any other fabric.

Silkworm Moth caterpillars sport varying shades of tan, with
brown markings on the thorax and a horn on the tail. The
pupae, depending on the breed and diet, range in color from
white to yellow. Adult moths are tan with light brown lines,
and have a wingspan of about one and one half inches (four

Silkworm Moths caterpillars feed almost constantly for about
five weeks. Because they are incapable of much movement,
they must be placed on their food source, which is
exclusively the leaf of the Mulberry tree. When the
caterpillar reaches about two inches (five centimeters) in
length, it spins its cocoon, and in about three weeks the
adult moth emerges. Because the adult moths cannot fly and
have almost no mouthparts, they reproduce and die in about
five days.

In China, after the cocoon has been spun the pupae is
usually killed and often eaten, as it has half again more
protein and sixteen times more iron then beef. According to
various experts, Silkworms are the most nutritious insect to
feed your pets. They are low-fat and a good source of
calcium, protein, magnesium and iron, plus B vitamins.

They are easily cared for, simply keep them dry, and they
will live for a week or more without food or water, and you
can keep them alive and growing for up to a month or more if
you feed them. If you need the largest worms possible, you
can easily grow them to up to three inches long before they
begin to spin by feeding them with commercial Silkworm food,
or mulberry leaves if you can acquire them locally.

Because of their high nutritional content Silkworms are
excellent for pregnant female herps. The calcium in
Silkworms helps to produce strong healthy eggs. Because of
their easy care, nutritional value and low fat content,
Silkworms are becoming more and more popular as live pet

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