Research article


Ms. Dipanjali Kemprai1, Dr. Jolly Masih2*, Ms. Hansa Mathur3

Online First: November 15, 2022

The Muga fabric is used by the Assamese people with pride, as it is considered almost a symbol of the state. As the prices of Muga cocoons and fabrics are comparatively high, Muga culture is considered to be highly remunerative agro-based industry in the state. The Muga silkworm being a versatile and unique species, needs to be protected from the different vagaries of nature. The State Sericulture Department, Assam and Central Silk Board, India have undertaken several developmental schemes and research programmes for upliftment of Muga silk industry. The present study has been undertaken with the objective to generate information on the effect of sole and interchange combinations (1st to 3rd instar in one plant and fourth to fifth instar in other) of Muga silkworm host plants viz., Som, soalu and Mezankari on rearing performance of the silkworm in respect of larval growth during Spring and Autumn season. Results revealed that food plants had significant effect on rearing of Muga silkworm. Among the food plants tested, the larval duration was shortest on Soalu followed by Som while it was longest on Mezankari. The larval weight was found to be highest on Soalu followed by Som and lowest on Mezankari which differed significantly from Som and Soalu. In case of the combinations, Som + Soalu and Soalu + Som performed equally good in terms of larval duration, full grown larval weight, mature larval weight. In case of combinations with Mezankari, shortest larval duration was recorded on Soalu + Mezankari. Som + Mezankari recorded lowest larval weight. Mezankari + Som recorded better larval weight. Autumn season was found to be better than that of Spring season in respect of larval duration. Study also found that Autumn was the best season crop in respect of larval weight. Mature larval weight was recorded significantly the highest from Soalu fed larvae. Thus, the present investigation indicates that Muga silkworm can be reared in different interchange combinations during the scarcity of major food plants for commercial production of Muga cocoons utilizing the host plants of secondary importance.


Antheraea assamensis, polyphagous insects, Som, Soalu, Mezankari, interchange of host plants, larval growth.