A Half-yearly Peer Reviewed Journal of Bangladesh Forest Research Institute

ISSN - Print: 1021-3279 | Online: -

Antheraea paphia Linn. (Saturniidae :
Lepidoptera) is a wild silkworm that gives us
tassar silk of commerce. The dark buff-coloured
silk is coarse and very strong, but of inferior
quality a,s compared to that obtained from the
domesticated silkworm, Bonibyx niori. This wild
insect is not domesticated, and cannot be reared in
confinement on a commercial basis.
In 1999, some trees of a 3-year old telsur
(Hopea odorata Roxb.) plantation in the campus of
the Bangladesh Forest Research Institute,
Chittagong were found infested by a group of
wild silkworm. The larvae were found feeding on
the tender foliage of the upper canopy of the trees
and were kept under observation. They were pale
green with a yellow line at each side and rather
bulky, distinctly segmented and smooth-bodied
except for rows of ornamental metallic spotsand
tubercles bearing clusters of short spines (Fig. 1).
The full-grown larvae were about 10 cm long.
Pupation occurred in oval cocoons with a compact
surface (Fig. 2). The cocoons were formed in rolled
leaves orsuspended by a thick silken cord from a
twig. The cocoons were collected and reared to
adults which were identified as Antheraea paphia
Linn. (Saturniidae : Lepidoptera). The adult
female is a broad-winged moth with a wing-span
of about 12 cm. It is bright yellow with a circular
semi-transparent area or ‘eye’ on each wing
(Fig- 3)-

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