A few weeks ago I shared a post about how we were raising silkworms. At the time, our silkworms were just worms, but now we’ve seen them through their entire life cycle! In this post I’m giving an update on our silkworms and showing the different life cycle stages that we have had the privilege of observing over the last several weeks.
Note: For more insect resources, activities, and printables, please see my Insects Unit Study page.
Not long after my first post about the silkworms, they began to spin their cocoons.
I did some reading and learned that they spin them in a figure 8 type motion. It was really fascinating to watch them moving their heads around as they made their cocoons.
Eventually, their cocoons were complete and we could not see them anymore.
They stayed inside their cocoons for about two weeks.
During that time, we checked on them everyday to see when they would come out.
And one day, I found our first moth! I have to admit, he (or she??) was a little funny looking.
The kids, of course, have loved watching the moths. And I’ve been doing some reading to learn more about them.
For example, I learned that silkworms do not exist in the wild anymore, but only in captivity where they are used for their silk. I also learned that silkworm moths do not fly. Apparently, the silkworms raised in captivity were bred to not fly. Our moths do flutter their wings a lot, but they do not get airborne.
Almost as soon as the moths came out of their cocoons, they began to mate.
In fact, they spend a LOT of time “making babies.”
And we’ve already seen them begin to lay their eggs.
And unfortunately, their life cycle is such that soon after they lay eggs, they die. In fact, a couple of our moths have already died, and the rest will probably follow soon.
While that will be kind of sad, it is how their life cycle works. And it has been such a great experience to raise these silkworms these last several weeks.
More insect learning resources
Insect printables from Gift of Curiosity:
- Insects Printables Pack
- Insects Do-a-Dot Printables
- Insects Anatomy Game
- Insects Grid Games
- Ant Printables Pack
- Ant 3-Part Cards
- Ant Do-a-Dot Printables
- Ladybug Do-a-Dot Printables
- Bee Do-a-Dot Printables
- Bee Sudoku
- Butterfly Do-a-Dot Printables