Studies on rearing performances of mulberry silkworm (Bombyx mori Linnaeus, 1758) in hooghly district of West Bengal (India): A newly explored area

Manojit Chatterjee, Nilay Ray


Article Details: Received: 2020-02-23 | Accepted: 2020-04-08 | Available online: 2020-06-30

This study is aimed at proposing mulberry sericulture as an alternative to strengthen the agricultural economy of Hooghly district of West Bengal, India. Exploration of four breeds of mulberry silkworm, Bombyx mori (Linnaeus, 1758), popular in West Bengal (viz., two multivoltine breeds – Nistari Plain and Nistari Marked, One Bivoltine breed – SK6 X SK7 hybrid and one F1 Hybrid from cross between Nistari Plain and SK6 X SK7 hybrid) have been conducted in the Sericulture Research Laboratory, Post Graduate department of Zoology, Hooghly Mohsin College, Chinsurah, Hooghly, West Bengal, India, for three consecutive years (2016-2019) for various rearing parameters (viz., larval duration, matured larval weight, cocoon weight, shell weight, shell ratio , effective rate of rearing , absolute silk content and yield) along with common meteorological data (viz., average temperature, average relative humidity, photoperiod). The study reveals Hooghly district to be very conducive for mulberry sericulture with the multivoltine breeds to be most suitable, although rearing of F1 hybrid and bivoltine breeds should also be promoted for their better economic value. Among the seasons, late Autumn (Oct.-Nov.) and early Spring (Feb.-Mar.) are found to be most suitable commercial rearing seasons for almost all the breeds, whereas the extended summer months including Spring, Summer and rainy season (Mar.-Aug.) are unfavourable, indicating deleterious effect of temperature and humidity on the rearing performance of these breeds, for which remedies such as sub-lethal heat shock can be explored.

Keywords: Silkworm rearing, cocoon weight, absolute silk content, yield, effective rate of rearing, commercial rearing season


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