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Rearing performance of Tasar Silkworm Antheraea mylitta Drury (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) on different food plants from Kolhapur district of Western Maharashtra

D. Jadhav,*a A.R.Bhusnar,aT.V.Sathea, S.R. Yankanchi a& K. Kirwaleb,
a*Department of Zoology, Shivaji University, Kolhapur-416004
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Study Center, Shivaji University, Kolhapur

Received, 20th January, 2013 : Revised 05th February, 2014

Abstract : Indian silk industry occupies a predominant position in the world. Its contribution is only 15% of total world production and more than 80% of silk production is contributed by China. In Maharashtra very few sections of the society are well acquainted with tasar and mulberry silk production .Sericulture in Maharashtra has a tremendous potential especially Western Maharashtra which has conducive environment and secondly h adjoins to Karnataka the premier Sericulture State of India. Maharashtra is considered as a non-traditional state of sericulture. Sericulture in Maharashtra is not new, it is about three decades old, while in the tribal districts like Bhandara, Chandrapur. Gadchiroli and Gondia tasar cultivation is practiced for last 300 years. In the present study available host plants from Kolhapur region of Western Maharashtra were used for study of A. mylitta D. performance .Western Maharashtra is one of the hot spot of world biodiversity heritage, where very rich floral and faunal diversity is observed, about 6 host plants of A. mylitta are available with good density however, up to date it is observed that nobody has much focused on promotion of tasar silk and its host plant propagation, maintenance and utilization in Western Maharashtra .

The present study results showed that, indoor early stage rearing of tasar and later stages in open environment would be a better option to get qualitative and quantitative cocoon production of A. mylitta. The present study also indicated that, among all the seasons rearing performance was good in autumn over rainy and winter season .Whereas among the food plants, performance for cocoon parameters like single cocoon weight, peduncle length, shell weight, pupal weight etc., was observed better with T.tomentosa as a food plant & other are T. arjuna, S. robusta and Z. jujuba.

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