Adult Males and Females:
The colors of an Adult moth are very bland. The wings are a creamy white color and have unique brownish patterns across the
front wings. The average wingspan is about 50 mm. The Adult Females are very active and are much larger than the males. The males however, crawl around looking for the females.
Figure 1 Adult Silkworms Mating in Imago Stage
Silkworms are considered holmetabolous, which means that they have three different stages of life; larva, pupa and adult.
Larva – 27 days
During the larva, growth takes
place. This occurs mostly on Mulberry.
During this period, the larva will
moth four times. A molt is when
old skin is shredded off and a new
stronger skin is produced. The period
in between the molt stages is called an instar.
Figure 2 Silkworm about to form a cocoon and pupate.
Pupa – 14 days
During the pupa the larva is protected by a silk cocoon. These tend to be white and yellow. When the final molt occurs inside the cocoon is when the larva turns into a pupa.
Figure 3 A cluster of silk cocoons
Imago – 5-7 days
This is the adult stage of the
silkworm’s life style. During this stage
the females lay their eggs. The moths
are helpless and cannot fly of eat. This
is because they do not have functional
mouth parts; therefore they are unable
to obtain the needed nutrition.
Figure 4 Pupa inside a Cocoon