Captive bred silkmoth, Samia cynthia

Captive bred silkmoth, Samia cynthia

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: An adult (imago) Chinese silkmoth, Samia cynthia. S. cynthia is a native of Eastern China, where its cocoons are one source of wild silk. It is now found locally in the wild in Europe and the USA, the result of failed attempts to exploit its silk production. The picture shows a moth raised in captivity in the UK. It was taken one day after the insect emerged from its cocoon, which had been constructed in November. The eclosion (emergence) occurred in March, after about 15 weeks as a pupa ( winter in the UK). Adult S. cynthia have no mouthparts and only live for about 10 days as the imago. During this time they mate, and females lay their eggs. The large antennae on top of the head ( orange) are sensory organs; one function of which is to detect the presence of likely mating partner by scent. The sexes are indistinguishable at this magnification.

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Keywords: antennae, biological, biology, china, cocoon, eclosion, imago, insect, pupa, samia cynthia, scent, sensory organ, silkmoth, uk, wild silk, zoological, zoology

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