Silkworm journey

Spyro

Avid Member
Site Sponsor
Sorry to hear about your silkworms @MissSkittles . Once that starts, it's like a never-ending nightmare. Just when you think you got them all, the next day there are more sick worms.
@redhorse yours are looking very nice!
@Spyro, about flarcherie I remember reading about "chain poops" as a symptom. Is this what is meant by "chain poop"?
Yeah, that doesn’t look so great. Are the worms that produced that still alive?
 

redhorse

Avid Member
4/23/21
Pic 4 is what both pic 2 and 3 looked like before adding food. All the carrots and food mix was eaten.
I had little waste of food and the 1/2 lb. mulberry chow mix is now gone (ordering more).
I only have 41 worms and maybe 4 died when they were little. The majority of the eggs were not spread out properly and was the biggest loss.

So- 41 plus or minus a few will eat the 1/2 lb. Mulberry mix chow (and some carrots. I knew they ate a lot but not this much.
 

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Sonny13

Chameleon Enthusiast
4/23/21
Pic 4 is what both pic 2 and 3 looked like before adding food. All the carrots and food mix was eaten.
I had little waste of food and the 1/2 lb. mulberry chow mix is now gone (ordering more).
I only have 41 worms and maybe 4 died when they were little. The majority of the eggs were not spread out properly and was the biggest loss.

So- 41 plus or minus a few will eat the 1/2 lb. Mulberry mix chow (and some carrots. I knew they ate a lot but not this much.
Some good looking grown examples, almost makes my mouth watering 🙃
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
4/23/21
Pic 4 is what both pic 2 and 3 looked like before adding food. All the carrots and food mix was eaten.
I had little waste of food and the 1/2 lb. mulberry chow mix is now gone (ordering more).
I only have 41 worms and maybe 4 died when they were little. The majority of the eggs were not spread out properly and was the biggest loss.

So- 41 plus or minus a few will eat the 1/2 lb. Mulberry mix chow (and some carrots. I knew they ate a lot but not this much.
I was just wondering how your silkies are doing. They look like they’re about ready to start spinning their cocoons. Might want to put some toilet paper rolls in for them to spin in.
 

Firewallx

Established Member
Hey Redhorse, they are looking great! Yeah they eat a lot in the fifth instar! That's one thing I love about the last instar; they literally eat every crumb. I imagine them sitting around a table banging their empty plates as a sign of wanting more. Haha.
 

redhorse

Avid Member
Thanks for the advice and please don't worry.. There is only 1 container without the toilet paper rolls, I just crop them out for now.
I will add to the 3rd container today.. Thanks!
I noticed them in Snitz427's 2019 thread (first time seeing them) so added them in when I made the big clean-up.
Thanks for the heads up.
Still learning about the instar phases..
If they produce eggs, there will be more monitoring on my part to witness the stages. (y)
 

Firewallx

Established Member
Don't forget to ensure that they can't escape the box once they begin wandering. I know many people have great success with toilet paper rolls or egg cartons. Some of my own have used the toilet paper tubes, but I find that many of mine refuse them as well. Mine seem to favor the corners of the box or behind the gutter guard ramp that I put in for them. Some made theirs on the lid. It seems that each worm has its own preferences if given the choice.
 

Firewallx

Established Member
I want to share these pictures since we are talking about cocooning. I had one cocoon with a mulberry leaf wrapped around the cocoon. I lost that picture, though.
The round structure in pic 1 was inspired by the cocoonery being sold at The Silkworm Shop. If you have gutter guard, you can make it yourself.
 

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redhorse

Avid Member
WOW! They are busy little critters.. Awesome pics (y)
Here are my containers from a distance.
PLUS!!!! Someone is getting ready to ??????.
 

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Firewallx

Established Member
Thank you! Yeah someone may be getting ready. Do you see any being restless and putting silk everywhere? There supposed to stop eating within a day before or so.
 

redhorse

Avid Member
It seems their larval stage is coming to an end. In picture #2 I had to separated 2 slackers, since they are not growing and wanted to make sure they could not cause any problems.
Have a wonderful Monday and thanks for all the great advice and personal experiences..
WE HAVE SILK! :D (y) :coffee:
Don't forget tomorrow is Tail Tuesday... Yippeeeeee!!!!!
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’m terrible about keeping track of time, but I think it was 2-3 weeks. My last moth hatched out a couple of days ago. Poor little lady is lacking a mate. I’ve noticed that just about every time, the boys hatch out first and there’s no girls for them. Then the girls catch up and it switches to girls with no boys.
 

redhorse

Avid Member
So it seems the silkies that ate the carrot have started to cocoon quicker, by numbers, than the others.
The carrots were a good idea since it seemed to be enjoyed by them. They ate all the mulberry mix and carrots that would be put into the bin. Everything happened so fast with growth and cocooning I did not get to try all the food I wanted to, maybe next time if I decide to raise more.
1 cocooned from pic 1
1 cocooned from pic 2
5 cocooned from pic 3 (the container that carrots were added to. I did not see any of the orange pepper eaten when it was in there)
Even though the cocoons are being transferred into a bin of their own, they are labeled with cocoon date and bin they came from.

My idea is that, maybe the carrot will effect them in their pupa stage, or it will have no effect.

Thanks for the info about the males and females hatching out at different times. That will be monitored too.

Did anyone cut the pupas out of the cocoon or just let them hatch naturally.

My plan is naturally but if others have ideas, I will give it a try.

Pupa is Latin for "Doll". How cool is that? Thank you google.
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Awesome job! 😊
When they hatch, they emit this reddish brown liquid (looks like iodine) which softens the cocoon for them to hatch out. Usually they have no problem hatching out. Occasionally they’ll spit out their stuff but not come out. You’ll see a diffuse light brown spot at one end. This is the only time that I help them out. I try not to cut as I don’t know where the moth is. I use tweezers and gently pull the silk away until there’s a big enough opening. If you don’t get them out within a couple of days, I think they die.
 

Firewallx

Established Member
My understanding for cocoon hatch times is between 14-21 days. If they pass 21 days, I'll open them up, and there s usually something wrong that explains it such as a shrivelled pupa or a moth that couldn't break through the cocoon and died trapped inside.
Once they are in the potential hatch range, I try to check for wet spots on unhatched cocoons because that could indicate that its trapped. Also, I listen for light scratching sounds. Both of those have helped me rescue trapped moths.
Remember that they were bred for thousands of years to produce strong, quality silk....which means sometimes that can't get through it, or so I've read.
When I cut open a cocoon, I try to slice the very tip to avoid cutting the moth, although I am ashamed to admit that I did cut too low once by mistake.
I read that sometimes two silkworms will build one big cocoon together and share it, and I was lucky enough to witness this event in gen 3!
I also had one pupate without making a cocoon.
Here's a pic:
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
My understanding for cocoon hatch times is between 14-21 days. If they pass 21 days, I'll open them up, and there s usually something wrong that explains it such as a shrivelled pupa or a moth that couldn't break through the cocoon and died trapped inside.
Once they are in the potential hatch range, I try to check for wet spots on unhatched cocoons because that could indicate that its trapped. Also, I listen for light scratching sounds. Both of those have helped me rescue trapped moths.
Remember that they were bred for thousands of years to produce strong, quality silk....which means sometimes that can't get through it, or so I've read.
When I cut open a cocoon, I try to slice the very tip to avoid cutting the moth, although I am ashamed to admit that I did cut too low once by mistake.
I read that sometimes two silkworms will build one big cocoon together and share it, and I was lucky enough to witness this event in gen 3!
I also had one pupate without making a cocoon.
Here's a pic:
I’ve had a few that have pupated without a cocoon. I’ve lightly wrapped them in some extra silk and crossed my fingers. Surprisingly they hatched!
 
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