V. K. Rahmathulla, H. M. Suresh
Journal of Insect Science 12 (82), 1-14, (1 July 2012) https://doi.org/10.1673/031.012.8201
KEYWORDS: ingesta, digesta, nutritional efficiency parameters, bivoltine silkworm
Food consumption and utilization is influenced by various biotic and abiotic factors. Under different environmental, feeding, and nutritional conditions, and with ingestion of the same amount of mulberry leaves, the silkworm shows significant difference in its ability to digest, absorb, and convert food to body matter. Here, influences of season, temperature, and humidity on food intake, assimilation, and conversion efficiency of the Indian bivoltine hybrid (CSR2 × CSR4) Bombyx mori L. (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae) were studied. The results indicated that food ingestion and assimilation were significantly higher among silkworm batches where optimum temperature and humidity were maintained compared with silkworm batches exposed to natural climatic conditions of the respective season. However, during summer the nutritional efficiency parameters were significantly higher among silkworms reared under natural temperature and humidity conditions when compared with the control. During the winter and rainy season, the nutritional efficiency parameters were significantly higher in control batches, where optimum temperature and humidity were maintained. Ingesta and digesta required to produce one gram of cocoon/shell were also lower in control batches for all seasons except summer. This may be due to the physiological adaptation of silkworms to overcome stress during the summer season.