moth

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Meet the Bombyx Mori in its caterpillar, larva or “worm” state — silkworm to be specific (though it’s not a worm at all).

There’s an entire series of videos online showing the Bombyx Mori’s life cycle from egg to larva (small and larger) to pupa to its emergence as an adult moth. But the thing that makes this insect stand out is the silkworm’s creation of a unique cocoon made from its saliva: a one mile long single strand of silk. 

After they have molted four times (i.e., in the fifth instar phase), their bodies become slightly yellow and the skin become tighter. The larvae will then enter the pupa phase of their life cycle and enclose themselves in a cocoon made up of raw silk produced by the salivary glands. The cocoon provides a vital layer of protection during the vulnerable, almost motionless pupal state. 

The moth that emerges from the cocoon is furry, white, doesn’t fly, but of course, starts the cycle all over again.

Thanks, Annie.