Friday Fun Fact – Silk Moths

At the moment the butterfly sanctuary has silk moths and silk worms/caterpillars on display.

The mulberry silkmoth, also known as Bombyx mori or Chinese Silkworm, were first cultivated in China 5,000 years ago.

As they’ve been domesticated, the silkworm moth now lives only in captivity as they have lost the ability to fly.

One cocoon comprises of a single thread about 914 meters long, and about 3000 cocoons are needed to make one pound/.45 kg of silk.

Today, silk is cultivated in Japan, China, Spain, France, and Italy. The silk industry has a commercial value of $200-$500 million annually.

All moth caterpillars spin a cocoon out of silk.

Isn’t it amazing that such a beautiful fabric comes from a caterpillar?