Silkmoths are moths whose pupae are surrounded in a silken cocoon. They are represented by members of the Bombycidae and the Saturniidae.
Both Families are farmed for their silk; the silk of the former being more highly regarded - both for the quality and quantity of silk produced. The Silkworm moth (Bombyx mori Latr.) being the most frequently exploited member of the Bombycidae. The Saturniid moths, especially within the genera Samia and Antheraea, produce Tussore silk.
There are about 1300 species within the Family Saturniidae, although only a small percentage of these produce silk. The majority of them are sub-tropical and tropical regions. The silk moths surround their pupae with a silken cocoon; the remainder of the Saturniidae have larvae which pupate underground and don't produce cocoons. When the cocoons are boiled the silk can be unwound and collected for treatment.
A male silkworm moth (Bombyx mori) and two cocoons
Other names for (or types of) Silkmoth include:
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