Antheraea assamensis

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Antheraea assamensis
Antheraea assamensis.JPG
Antheraea assamensis male, Borneo
Muga Silkworm.JPG
Caterpillars
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Clade: Euarthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Saturniidae
Genus: Antheraea
Species: A. assamensis
Binomial name
Antheraea assamensis
Helfer, 1837
Synonyms
  • Antheraea brunnea
  • Antheraea youngi
  • Antheraea perotteti
  • Saturnia assama
  • Antheraea assama
  • Antheraea mezankooria
  • Antheraea brunnea subvelata
  • Antheraea assamensis mezops
  • Antheraea assamensis rubigenea

The muga silkworm is the larva of the Assam silkmoth (Antheraea assamensis), a moth of the family Saturniidae. It is found in northeast India (namely Assam) where 99% of its production occurs.[1]

The larva feed on Cinnamomum, Laurus, Litsea, Carpinus, Persea, Magnolia, Michelia, Quercus, Sarcostemma and Symplocos.

Its silk, one of the varieties of Tussar silk, has a glossy golden hue which improves with age and washing. It is never bleached or dyed and is stain resistant. It was reserved for the exclusive use of royal families in Assam for 600 years. Like other silkmoths, the female have a larger abdomen and slender antennae when compared to males. The larvae are vibrantly coloured and are monophagous as other silkmoths.[2][3]

In 2015, Adarsh Gupta K of Nagaraju's research team at Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Hyderabad, India discovered the complete sequence and the protein structure of Muga Silk Fibroin and published it in Nature Scientific Reports.[4]

In 2009, "Utpal Bora" and his team at Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Assam has reported for the first time the potential of using muga silk fibroin as a promising biomaterial for tissue engineering applications [1]

References[edit]