The Silkworm Diaries

Begining Cocoons

I am way behind with this diary; I was away for a week and a half. I expected all my caterpillars to be safely tucked away in their silky comforters by the time I left, on April 24. But, more than 40 days after hatching, few of them had gone to sleep.

One possibility suggested by my correspondent Prabhakar is that it wasn’t warm enough for them. In any case, they had a lot of trouble with their spinning. Eventually, all but four of them cocooned. A couple of the cocoons look like they worm didn’t fully pupate. There’s also a lot of variation in the size and shape of the cocoons.

I plan to post more pictures soon.

the silkworm is closing itself off prior to spinning the actual cocoon.

They spent a long time wandering around before they picked a spot.

early stage cocoon

Note the puddle of purged stomach contents in the section of the carton below the cocoon.


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