About the Bombycidae



The true silkmoths (Bombycidae) used to be a species rich family. However, after the removel of the Apatelodinae and Phiditiinae (both now separate families) and the Oberthueriinae and Prismostictinae (both now placed in an expanded Endromidae) there are only 202 species left in 27 genera. These genera are placed in two subfamilies (Bombycinae and Epiinae).

The fairly small and usually dull moths occur mainly in Asia and Central and South America, with a few representatives in Africa.

Bombyx mori, the domesticated silkworm is probably the best known representative of this family. For over 5000 years now, humans have been using the silk of this species to produce clothes.



Rearing Bombycidae



Silkworms are fun species to keep in a classroom and teach children the different stages of an insect. That is if you can find mulberry (Morus) leaves, the best food plants for the caterpillars. It is an easy and fast growing species suitable for every level of experience.

This goes for many true silk moths. Unfortunately, because of their rather small size and far from spectacular appearance they are hard to get. Often overlooked by moth collectors and never reared by professional butterfly farms, means that they are rarely bred by anyone. For many species, the early stages are still unknown. If you can provide other species then Bombyx mori, really do not hesitate to contact me.

Genera on this website