Trivia question for Jun-30-2011

Posted on Jun 30, 2011 in Trivia

Olivia was fascinated to learn some of the facts surrounding these insects so she ran to me and said she wanted these to be part of her trivia.  Lets see how well everyone does with her questions.  These guys are no longer found in the wild.  They are totally domesticated and found only in captivity.

The adult phase of the life cycle of these insects cannot fly. They have a wingspan of 1.5 – 2 inches and a white hairy body. Females are about two to three times bulkier than males (for they are carrying many eggs), but are similarly colored. Eggs take about fourteen days to hatch into larvae, which eat continuously. They have a preference for white mulberry. Like many insect species, the pupae of these insects are eaten in some cultures. In Korea they are boiled and seasoned to make a popular snack food known as beondegi. In China street vendors sell their pupae roasted. Silkworms have also been proposed for cultivation by astronauts as space food on long-term missions.

So here are Olivia’s questions:  Tell us what this insect is and where they are primarily raised.  Also, China guarded the secret of these guys and their priceless commodity from the world with the penalty of death until someone smuggled them out of China.  Tell us who smuggled them out and when it was?

Good Luck 😉


Congratulations to Cate Donoghue from Atlanta GA for being the first with the correct answer. We also appreciate all the responses and kind comments we received. The furry little insect is the Domesticated Silk Moth. The silkworm is the larva or caterpillar of the domesticated silk moth,(Latin: “silkworm of the mulberry tree”). It is an economically important insect, being a primary producer of silk.

The silkworm was domesticated from the wild silk moth which has a range from northern India to northern China, Korea, Japan and far the eastern regions of Russia. The domesticated silkworm derives from Chinese rather than Japanese or Korean stock.

It is reported that the first Silk Moth Eggs to be smuggled out of China happened around 550 AD by two monks who hide them in a hallow walking stick as they traveled into Constantinople.  Here is more on these precious insects.  Domesticated Silk Moth

Thanks for playing along 😉