In this post we are going to reveal everything about silkworms in Australia
Everything you need to know about silkworms
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Would you like to breed silkworms?
This is an experience that amazes many children, seeing their metamorphosis, from the egg to the butterfly. The history of these industrious worms has a long history that dates back to 2640 BC in China, when they began to be used to extract their protein fiber to create silk.
What you didn't know about the silk-making caterpillar
In current times, the breeding of these silkworms has become very popular, this practice that has as its origin, an ancient profession imported from Asia, and now shared by many people as a hobby.
Sericulture, the cultivation of the silkworm, spread throughout China in 139 BC. It was at this time that the world's largest trade route was opened, spanning from eastern China to the Mediterranean Sea, currently known as the "silk route", turning silk into a highly valued item that others would later want to get. countries.
In some schools they teach you the biological processes of these insects, of which there is a great variety of races of silkworms.
Silkworms as food
Fun Fact: Bearded Dragons love silkworms as food, they have a very good nutritional content that is healthy and beneficial for the lizard.
Life cycle of silkworms
Understanding the beginning of silkworms:
Life cycle Silkworms go through four stages of development: egg, larva, chrysalis or pupa and imago.
The butterfly lays the eggs, then the long ones are born and then these are transformed into caterpillars or silkworms that later go through metamorphosis to become a butterfly
When the silkworm larvae have been born, we will obtain hundreds of small larvae that little by little will feed and grow.
This biological cycle in days has:
The 1st change: after 3 days
The 2nd change: after 4 days
The 3rd change: after 5 days
And the 4th change: after 6 days
Then the Cocoon: at 10 days and finally the Butterfly: at 24 days.
The different changes consist of the change they make to their skin to keep growing.
Changes begin when the silkworm remains immobile, a few days without eating and only holding on with its hind legs.
It starts with the head and changes the mouth and ends by changing the rest of the outer skin and a part of the inner skin.
Where does the silkworm come from?
It comes from a moth called "Bombyx mori" it is a wild moth of the Bombycidae family, native to North Asia. However, today we find it in many parts of the world. In many regions of the planet they take advantage of the cocoon that protects their chrysalis, made up of a long filament of silk produced by the caterpillar when it retracts for metamorphosis.
We can find beautiful specimens of silkworms on the internet and also terrariums, specifically designed so that they live in an efficient development, similar to their natural environment. These terrariums consist of glass boxes, similar to an aquarium, without water and with many edible leaves where they feel at home.
The eggs are between 1 and 1.5 mm long. Its shell is a membrane of chitinous matter. The eggs or seeds are very small, measuring almost 1 mm long by 1 mm wide. They are characterised by being yellow at the time of laying and changing to a leaden grey after 48 hours if it is fertilised.
Silkworms for sale
Where to buy silkworms?
On the internet you can find many places that offer silkworms for sale, however, you should choose specialised stores to buy authentic specimens of silkworms and a complete guide for the breeding and maintenance of the larvae, feeding and more.
How is silk made?
Sericin is an extremely sticky substance or protein, this fibre allows the "worm" to create a single silk thread (up to 1 km long) with which to make the cocoon. The aforementioned cocoon is the material that is collected to create what we know as silk.
The larvae use the starch from the mulberry leaves that they have consumed, transformed into dextrin by their metabolism, to produce the silk thread. The apparatus for this purpose is made up of two glands located below the digestive tract, the ducts of which lead to the row located in the eleventh ring. The material, liquid inside the body, solidifies in contact with air. Turning on itself, it makes around its body an oval envelope formed by a single thread up to 1,500 meters long. The process takes two or three days.
How to care for silkworms?
Aging begins in spring, it is when you will find leaves of the blackberry tree, this tree being deciduous, they lose their leaves in autumn. The ideal environment is always natural, however you can give it a very similar place inside a terrarium or glass box, conditioned for it.
What do silkworms eat?
When the larvae hatch, and we need to have leaves from the blackberry tree, if we don't have mulberry to feed them they will die. It is not worth giving them other green leaves, they eat exclusively mulberry leaves.
Are a priority if you want to breed silkworms. This type of tree is found in many gardens and parks in any city. You should not remove a branch but several leaves from different trees enough to have food for your worms. In the last case you can buy mulberry leaves, there are offers on the internet.
Silkworms as pets
A very instructive idea for the smallest or new generations is to have silkworms as pets in a terrarium to understand the life cycle of some animals that live with us, humans within the same ecosystem. It is possible to keep silkworms at home, and they make good pets as they are quiet, do not smell, and although they constantly bite the leaves, they do not bite humans.
In Penrith, Sydney, Australia, you can find our store specialising in various types of animals as pets, including silkworms in large terrariums specially conditioned for optimal and safe development.
Here is the link to buy them.
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