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Scientific method of silkworm rearing for the production of commercial silk is called sericulture. Four varieties of silk, namely mulberry, tassar, eri and muga are produced in India (Table). Silk is obtained from insect’s cocoon (pupa stage).

To obtain commercial silk, cocoons are treated with boiling water to kill the living pupa inside. Thread is recovered from killed cocoons (reeling).




Primary Food Plant

Secondary Food Plant

States Where

Mulberry silk

Bombyx mori

Morus alba (mulberry)


Karnataka, Andhra, 
Tamilnadu, U.P, West Bengal, Jammu & Kashmir

Muga silk or Golden silk

Antheraea assama

Michilus bombycina(som), Litsaea polyantha (soalu)

Michelia champaka



Tasar silk

Antheraea mylitta

Terminalia tomentosa(matti) T. arjuna

Tectona grandis(teak)Careya arborea(kumbhi)

Bihar, M.P,

Orissa, U.P

Eri silk or

white silk

Philosamia ricini

Ricinus communis

Manihot sp. (tapioca)Ailanthus excelsa

Assam and Bihar

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