Cricula trifenestrata (Helfer) (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) - A silk producing wild insect in India.
Keywords: Cricula trifenestrata, Saturniidae, rearing, grainage, disease, pest, utilization, silk, pebrine, flecherie
AbstractCricula silkworm (Cricula trifenestrata Helfer) is a wild insect present in the northeastern part of India producing golden color fine silk. This silkworm completes its life cycle 4-5 times in a year and is thus termed multivoltine. In certain areas it completes the life cycle twice in a year and is thus termed bivoltine. The Cricula silkworm lives on some of the same trees with the commercially exploited ‘muga’ silkworm, so causes damages to that semi-domesticated silkworm. The Cricula feeds on leaves of several plants and migrates from one place to another depending on the availability of food plants. No literature is available on the life cycle, host plant preferences, incidence of the diseases and pests, and the extent of damage it causes to the semi-domesticated muga silkworm (Antheraea assamensis Helfer) through acting as a carrier of diseases and destroyer of the host plant. Thus, the present study aimed at recording the detail life cycle of Cricula in captivity as well as under natural conditions in order to develop strategies to control the damage it causes to the muga silk industry and also to explore the possibility of utilizing its silk for commercial utilization.