Biology and Behavior of Mulberry Silkworm (Bombyx mori) in Northern Iraq

Abstract views: 563 / PDF downloads: 168




Silkworm, biology, behavior, Bombyx mori


Domestic silk worms were reared in Iraq during the 1970s and 1980s of the last century, but unfortunately they completely disappeared after 1990 till now due to the unstable situations and economic problems. This study was aimed to revive the neglected valuable insect in Iraq after its absent for three decades, and obtaining a large number of silkworm eggs for continuous rearing and experiments in the next years. Bombyx mori (Bursa White; ‘Bursa Beyazi’) were imported from Sericulture Center in Bursa, Turkey. Incubated eggs were hatched into larvae 7.00 ± 1.00 days after incubation. Hatching percentage was 97.75%   ± 3.11. The durations of larval instars (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th) were 3.60 ± 0.55, 3.75 ± 0.55, 5.12 ± 0.73, 5.98 ± 0.51, 7.72 ± 0.55 days respectively. The total larval period was 26.17   ±1.50.  mature larvae spent 46.00 ±   14.50 hours for spinning cocoons.  Weight of a single cocoon was 1.7 to 2.5 gm and the weight of the cocoon shell was 0.45 g. The pupal period lasted for 10 to 12 days. The completion of the cocoon spent 46.00 ± 14.50 hours. Adults were emerged after 10.60 ± 1.50 days. Adult male longevity was 115.00 ± 5.00 hours, while adult female longevity was 135.50   ± 7.50 hours. Fertilized female laid more than 500 eggs in the form of clusters and the average weight of these eggs per a single female was 250 ± 30.00 mg. Average weight of 4th and 5th instars larvae were 3.45 ± 0.90 g and 5.25 ± 1.25 g respectively. It can be concluded that successful rearing can be performed during April -May and September – October due to the moderate temperature in these months.


Cifuentes, C.A., Sohn, K.W. 1998. Manual técnico de sericultura: cultivo de la morera y cría del gusano de seda en el trópico. Pereira, Convenio SENA-CDTS, p. 438, ISBN: 958-96557-0-X.

Datta, R.K., Nanavaty M. 2007. Global silk industry: A complete source book. New Delhi, India, APH Publishing.

Hassan, S.I., Rateb, S.H., Mohanny, K.M., M.H. Hussein, M.H. 2020. Efficiency of some plants powder mix as a dietary supplement for silkworm (Bombyx mori L.), SVU-International Journal of Agricultural Science, 2(2): 378-383.

Hussain, M., Khan, S.A., Naeem, M., Nasir, M.F. 2011a. Effect of rearing temperature and humidity on fecundity and fertility of silkworm, Bombyx mori L. (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae), Pakistan J. Zool, 43: 979-985.

Hussain, M., Khan, S.A., Naeem, M., Aqil, T., Khursheed, R., Mohsin, A.U. 2011b. Evaluation of silkworm lines against variations in temperature and Rh for various parameters of commercial cocoon production. Hindawi Publishing Corporation Psyche, 1-11.

Hussain, M., Naeem, M., Khan, S.A., Farooq, B., Munawar, M. 2011c. Studies on the influence of temperature and humidity on biological traits of silkworm (Bombyx mori L.; Bombycidae). Afr. J. Biotechnol, 10:12368-12375.

Kamel, H. M., Abo-Laban, G., Nabil, M.M. 2016. The effect of mulberry leaves enrichment with different nutritional supplements on biological aspects and economic traits of silkworm, Bombyx mori (L.). Annals of Agric. Sci., Moshtohor, 54(4): 977–982.

Mahmoud, M.M. 2013. Effect of various kinds of dietary proteins in semi – artificial diets on the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori, L. Egypt. Acad. J. Bio. Sci., 6(1): 21-26.

Nair, J.S., Kumar, S.N. 2004. Artificial diet for the silkworm, Bombyx mori, L. A retrospection through the decades. Ind. J. Sericul., 43(1): 1- 17.

Parra, J.R.P. 1991. Consumoeutilizaçào de alimentosporinsetos. In: Panizzi AR & Parra JRP (eds) Ecologia nutricional de insetosesuas Implicaçòes no manejo de pragas, 359.

Sekhar, P., Ravikumar, C. 1991. Role of rural women in Indian sericulture, Proceedings of the International Congress on Tropical Sericulture Practices, 0p.cit. pp 65-71.

Raghuvanshi, T., Bali, R.K., Bukhari, R. 2019. Effect of Different Feeding Frequencies on the Commercial Characters of Silkworm (Bombyx mori. L.) International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences, 8(6): 3193-3203.

Rahmathulla V.K., Suresh H.M., Mathur V. B., Geethadevi R.G. 2002. Feed conversion efficiency of Elite bivoltine CSR hybrids silkworm Bombyx mori L. reared under different environmental conditions. Sericologia, 42: 197-203.

Rahmathulla, V.K. 2012. Management of Climatic Factors for Successful Silkworm (Bombyx mori L.) Crop and Higher Silk Production. A Review Hindawi Publishing Corporation Psyche, 2012: 121-234.

Ravikumar, R, Harish Kumar, H. M., Kiran, K., Gurumoorty, S.H. 2019 Extraction and characterization of biofuel from industrial waste organic pupae-silkworm. international journal of recent Technology and Engineering (IJRTE), 8(3): 1603-1607.

Saha, S., Kumar, P., Raj, S., Sentisuba, B.M. 2022. Sericulture: Management and practices of mulberry silkworm. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Research and Applications, 7(2): 35-46.

Torres McCook, A.R., Fernández, B.C., Barcenas, A.R. 2021. Description of the main aspects influencing Bombyx mori L. (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae) rearing. Cuban Journal of Agricultural Science, 55 (1): 1-14.

Yilmaz, O., Wilson, R. 2017. The domestic livestock resources of Turkey: silkworm (Bombyx mori, L. 1758) (lepidoptera: Bombycidae) lines and their conservation. International Research Journal of Insect Sciences. 2(2): 12-19.

Zannoon. 2012. Effect of adding some foliar fertilizers to mulberry leaves on some biological aspects and silk production of silkwor sM Bombyx mori L. 17(2): 211-221.

Zhou, Y., Zhou, S., Duan, H.; Wang, J., Yan, W. 2022. Silkworm Pupae: A Functional Food with Health Benefits for Humans. Foods, 11: 1594.




How to Cite

Abdulwahab Mohammed, H. ., & Naeef Ayoub, Z. (2022). Biology and Behavior of Mulberry Silkworm (Bombyx mori) in Northern Iraq. ISPEC Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 6(3), 547–554.