Chinese silkmoth larvae feeding

Chinese silkmoth larvae feeding

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Larvae (caterpillars) of the Saturnid moth, Samia cynthia, feeding on Privet, Ligustrum vulgare. S. cynthia is native to Eastern China, where its cocoons are one source of wild silk. It has been introduced into both Europe and the USA. In natural habitats the larvae feed on Tree of Heaven ( Ailanthus altissima ), but have been found on a variety of other tree species, including Magnolia, Laburnum, Privet and Sweet Bay. The female moth lays batches of up to 400 eggs, and the early instar larvae are gregarious. The picture shows a group of 4th instar larvae growing on branches of privet in a vase. The larvae are 4 weeks old, and approximately 2cm long.

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Keywords: biological, biology, caterpillar, china, insect, instar, larva, ligustrum vulgare, privet, samia cynthia, silkmoth, wild silk, zoological, zoology

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