Encyclopedia > Silkworm

  Article Content

Silkworm

Silkworm
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Hexapoda
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Bombycidae[?]
Genus: Bombyx
Species: mori
Binomial name
Bombyx mori

Prometheus silkworm

The silkworm (Bombyx mori, lit. "raw silk of mulberry") is not a worm, but the larva of a moth that is very important economically as the producer of silk. A silkworm's diet consists solely of mulberry leaves. It is native to Northern China.

The silkworm is so called because it spins its cocoon from raw silk. The cocoon is made of a single continuous thread of raw silk from 300 to 900 meters (1000 to 3000 feet) long.

If the caterpillar is left to eat its way out of the cocoon naturally, the threads will be cut short and the silk will be useless, so silkworm cocoons are thrown into boiling water, which kills the silkworms and also makes the cocoons easier to unravel. This harvesting has been done for thousands of years.

The adult moth has been bred for silk production and cannot fly. It is also called the silkworm-moth or mulberry silkworm. Because of its long history and economic importance, the silkworm genome has been the object of considerable modern study.



All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

 
  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
 
 
  
  Featured Article
BBC News 24

... BBC1 and BBC2, using terrestrial signals, and this is seen by some as influential (to a certain limited extent) in promoting the take-up of digital television. BBC ...

 
 
 
This page was created in 74.3 ms