Bombyx mori is the first species you think of when talking about silk farming.
This is because some 96% of the worlds silk production comes from this one species.
Bombyx mori comes from China & is fully domesticated.
It is not sure when this species was first raised for silk, some say 2000 years ago but it is more likely to be 5000 years.
Over the many years Bombyx has been subjected to selective breeding in a very complex way. Who knows how many varieties there are but the gene bank in Japan lists 461pure breed lines alone.
As a result Bombyx mori can be found in many different forms. The silkworms can be anything from pure white to jet black & everything in between.
The cocoons can also be found in many different natural colours from pure white, cream, yellow, gold, green, apricot & even pink.
The moths themselves are small in comparison to the size of the silkworm & almost flightless.
Bombyx mori silkworms will only feed on the foliage from the Mulberry tree.
Traditionally Morus alba, white mulberry foliage is use, however many varieties of mulberry have been developed especially for rearing Bombyx. These produce larger leaves & are more vigorous.
Bombyx silkworms are reared in open trays in warm conditions.....28c is ideal.
Silkworms are fed 5 to 6 times a day with fresh mulberry leaves. From hatching from the egg a silkworms takes 28 days to mature & start spinning it's cocoon.
The moth hatches about 3 weeks later.