The Silkworm Diaries

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Cocoons category.

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.


Looking for a Good Spot

I made my last leaf run today — it’s so easy now, the leaves are way bigger than the worms. I picked a couple that were the size of my hand.


I feel like the silkworms don’t like the egg cartons. They seem to be wandering around an awful lot. One worm, that had walled himself in and started to spin around yesterday, abandoned his spot last night.

I don’t remember this happening last time — but maybe I wasn’t watching them so obsessively. Last year, for example, I didn’t notice the little pools of stuff purged from their stomachs.

the purge

Here’s the stuff they vomit up to clean out their stomachs. Their final poops are different, too, greener and less digested.

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The First Spinner

Searching for “silkworms don’t spin,” I found one site that said they take from 27 to 40 days to cocoon. Well, today is the 40th day — and my first worm decided to go to sleep.

The leaves on the trees are really big now, so I have to pick fewer leaves, but they still eat a lot.

beginning the cocoon

This worm is spinning his cocoon inside the bottom half of a cardboard egg carton; I’ve lined two sides of their box with these.