Winter energy budget of larvae of Indian tropical tasar silk insect Antheraea mylitta Drury living in the host plant Ziziphus jujuba


The energy budget of the larvae of Antheraea mylitta Drury living in host plant Ziziphus jujuba Gaertn was prepared in winter. In the fifth instar the rate of food energy consumption, absorption, body growth, silk gland growth and respiration increased when compared to other instars. The amount of consumption, absorption, body tissue growth and silk gland growth during fifth instar was 81%, 82%, 82%, 97% respectively of the total amount used in the entire larval period. The fifth instar female larvae showed significantly higher overall efficiencies than male larvae. There was a gradual increase in amount of energy stored per mg dry body weight from first to fifth instar. The absorption and growth efficiency was lowest in second instar. Hence, it is the most vulnerable instar needing more care during rearing. Highest all-round efficiency was observed in fifth instar larva. Therefore, optimum care should be given to fifth instar larva during feeding and rearing in order to maximize silk productivity.

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