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Silkworm Moths

General Descriptions

 

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

 

Stages:

 

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

 

ladybird beetle leafcutter ants Monarch butterflies migration silkworm moths silkworm moths methods credits references