Saturday, January 2, 2010

More on Silk

Apparently domesticating silkworms, er, silkcaterpillars, is a lot like domesticating chicken and turkeys. The selection for big and the many generations of being raised in captivity has made the silkworm dependent on humans for all movements. The caterpillars never get out to feed. The little guys at the caterpillar stage no longer see and the wings of the adult moths are stunted and practically useless. Color is gone in the domesticated n attendants, who carry the worms to the feeding places and supply them with food. The Bombyx mori, the domestic silkworm, is white or cream-colored, whereas the wild varieties vary widely in color. Very exotic. You gotta wonder if we are a slave to the moth or it to us.
Theresa, OmMama

1 comment:

Kyoko said...

This is absolutely super educational and I LOVE IT.
Although I have moths phobia, I feel bad whenever I encounter silk products because I know that worms are killed before they mature.
Many years ago, Japan was a huge silk producers and many traditional Japanese home used to raise silk worms in their attic feeding them with special plants.
I visited a museum about 3 years ago and I asked what happens to the dead worms. They said that they used to use them for fertilizers. How interesting! Thank you so much for such great post!