Checking in with the silkmoths.

Overheard at Casa Free-Ride:

Dr. Free-Ride's better half: Hey, some of the silkmoths are mating already!

Elder offspring: With each other?

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Savor that moment of stunned silence!

A bunch of the pupating silkworms are still in the cocoons, but as of Thursday, about ten had emerged as moths. I was actually lucky enough to be in the room with my camera as this one emerged.

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Judging by the size of her abdomen (largish), we're guessing it's a female. She still hasn't "inflated" her wings yet.

And, we got to watch this female lay eggs:

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The eggs are the little yellow spheres. In addition to laying them on the paper towel, she also laid them on cocoons, both occupied and unoccupied. This means, if I'm serious about trying to recover the silk from the hatched cocoons, we may lose hundreds of silkworm eggs.

This also means we may end up with thousands of silkworm eggs. If we let them all hatch, we're going to have pretty serious mulberry leaf needs to satisfy.

Does anyone have any experience with freezing silkworm eggs?

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Think freezing will work too, but I successfully kept them in the refrigerator all year w/o freezing.
Of course, you only need a few of the eggs. Don't even think of growing all the next generation.

Mulberry leaves can also be frozen, if you need to lay in a supply of them for winter. They unfreeze as mush, but I understand from friends who have raised silkworms that the silkworm larvae will still eat the mush.

By Luna_the_cat (not verified) on 15 Jun 2009 #permalink