Sudipta Kumar Das, Bhupen Kumar Sahu and Digvijay Singh
Based on the feeding behaviour of silkworms, sericulture can be broadly classified into mulberry and non-mulberry. Non-mulberry silk is also termed as ‘Vanya’ silk or Wild silk which is mostly common among the traditional rearers. Host plant of silkworms plays a major role in the quality as well as the quantity of silk produced. The non-mulberry silkworms are eri (Samia ricini), Muga (Antheraea assama), temperate tasar (Antherara myllita) and tropical tasar (Antherara proylei). Since non-mulberry silkworms are polyphagous in nature, thus on the basis of host plant preference the host plants can be classified as primary, secondary and tertiary. Non-mulberry sericulture is mostly practised by the tribal and local community. They depend upon this sector for their livelihood. Therefore, a keen knowledge of the host plants will help the farmers to increase the number of rearing cycles in a year which in turn will lead to increase in the productivity and yield.
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