Monday, May 4, 2009

It's over

I'm been resisting posting this because it's sad for me. Out of 11 cocoons I had five males and six females which resulted in no matings. I have one lonely female left alive, and she is just hanging around waiting to die. Somehow the death of the moth is not as sad if they have mated because then it seems like they have fulfilled their purpose in life.

Before most of the moths died I contacted a moth expert from Canada and he made several very good suggestions. I even tried hand-pairing the moths, which is where you hold the moth's butts together and sort of force the issue if they are reluctant. That didn't even work. When none of the suggestions worked he concluded that my moths were probably too closely related to mate. Many species has a built in mechanism that prevents them from mating with siblings or even close cousins. It's good for the gene pool, but not for a small breeder. The B. mori don't have a problem inbreeding, but inbreeding can cause other issues like sudden death of the worms or disease.

So, my project has totally stalled out. For the next few months I will be unable to raise A. pernyi, but I can raise some B. mori. In a few weeks I will order 200 eggs or so and give those another try. I had no issues with raising them last time, so I anticipate much better success. I will try and get more A. pernyi later this summer and try to raise a late summer generation.

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At May 4, 2009 5:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn....I am sorry to hear this


At September 14, 2009 1:50 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Just found your blog, I work for an entomologist rearing another lepidopteran species, was looking for info and wandered into your silkworms. Sorry the last of the one colony died, hope you have been able to import some new stock.

A suggestion regarding your food source, it will be a pain but you probably ought to rinse your leaves in a 10% bleach solution to kill off any germs or pesticides.

Good luck!


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