Silk-Worms in New Zealand still?

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    Topic
  • #14428

    Jane
    Participant

    I was asked tonight if there were still silk worms in New Zealand and I didn’t know.

    The lady asking remembers having silk-worms as a child and unravelling the silk to make bookmarks etc., To her this was nothing unusual, but as the years have gone by, she now realises that it was not so common a thing as first thought.

    Can anyone tell us if there are still silk-worms in New Zealand?

Viewing 25 replies - 26 through 50 (of 70 total)
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  • #40746

    clinton9
    Participant

    Hi Anna,
    Where you lives ??? New Zealand ??? I lives in Thames, in zone 9b to 10.

    #40745

    Anna
    Participant

    nel.magriet….that sounds interesting…feeding them beetroot or dandelion leaves.
    My larger Silkworms have started spinning their cocoons today, but I have some half grown Silkworms as well. I have put one in a container with a small beetroot leaf, and small dandelion leaf to see if it eats it. I will let you know what happens either way:)

    #40742

    nel.magriet
    Participant

    Hi – I am also looking for silkworm eggs. Where can I get hold of these. We used to feed our silkworms, beetroot leaves and then they spin pink silk instead. I have also read, that you can feed Dandelion leaves to silkworms. (I have not tried the Dandelion leaves before, but I cant see, why it wouldn’t work.

    #40740

    Anna
    Participant

    I have a big old mulberry tree and three smaller young mulberry trees, so have food for them. Each tree has new leaves now its spring. I’m not going to raise hundreds, but will raise enough so I have eggs for another batch of Silkworms and eggs to give to anyone else with Mulberry trees/bushes.

    #40738

    clinton9
    Participant

    Anna,
    What if your mulberry trees grow too slow, produce too few leaves for your next crop of silkworm caterpillars ???

    #40737

    Anna
    Participant

    Clinton…I have got silkworm eggs, and silkworms at the moment. The fat silkworms have started to make their cocoons today.

    #40720

    clinton9
    Participant

    Anna,
    Thanks, but I do not know where to get eggs of silkworm in New Zealand.
    seems the Mulberry trees were subtropical trees, but despite being subtropical, it grew well in England and temperate countries, Christchruch, NZ.

    I did not know whether mulberry trees grow fast or slow, as I feel silkworms need lots of leaves, and no point in breeding silkworms if mulberry trees grow too slow.

    I think mulberry trees will grow well in your place, as long as you look after them well….feed with manure, water these trees.

    Chinese & Japanese people rearing silkworms for cocoons they weaved into clothes in 1500s to 1800s, these silkworms need warm subtropical climate as they can be killed by below the temperature 10oC. Chinese & Japanese people lives in subtropical & tropical parts of East South Asia & Japan.

    #40702

    Anna
    Participant

    Clinton, I bought several Mulberry trees/bushes from Mitre 10 last year, so you may be able to get one from there…or any plant nursery should be able to get them for you. The ones I bought had “Morus Apricot Shahtoot” King white (Mulberry) on the label. I was told they were grown from clones/tissue culture by a nursery in the lower south Island
    Some research I did made me think the Silkworms seem to prefer the white or Alba mulberries rather than the black mulberry.
    I have an old 30 yr old mulberry tree with useless fruit, so it has been pretty neglected…as well as the new ones I have bought…and even though the leaves are different the Silkworms grow well with both types.
    They can be grown from cuttings as well I think.

    If you can hunt down a tree/bush you are welcome to some fertile Silkworm eggs.

    #40588

    clinton9
    Participant

    I am not sure about whether Mulberry trees are common or rare in NZ, What if these Mulberry bushes were difficult trees to look for in NZ ???

    I feel it is like looking for a needle in a hay stack.

    #40586

    Errol
    Participant

    I’ve been told there is/was a Mulberry tree growing in the general Motueka area some years ago.

    Also when I was a small boy living in Christchurch, there was a big Mulberry tree growing over the back fence and which I sometimes raided for the delicious berries.

    #40585

    clinton9
    Participant

    Are Mulberry bush

    a tropical tree ??? (zone 10-12)

    a temperate tree ??? (zone 5-9)

    I thought Mulberry bush were tropical trees, only can grow in Far North.

    #40578

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Plenty of pictures of mulberry bushes/trees here:

    https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=mulberry+trees+nz&rlz=1C1NOOH_enNZ608NZ608&espv=2&biw=1024&bih=707&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=ujk0VNa5INLqoAS7oIHwCQ&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ

    Botanical names are Morus alba (white), Morus nigra (black). Fruit are lovely. 🙂

    #40572

    clinton9
    Participant

    A photo of Mulberry bush would be appreciated otherwise members of this website won’t understand word mulberry.

    #40571

    Anna
    Participant

    There are still silkworms in NZ. I raised some last season, and then kept their fertile eggs in the fridge over winter. A couple of weeks ago, I took one batch of eggs out of the fridge, and they have now hatched, and are happily munching away on newly emerged mulberry tree leaves.
    They need quite a bit of attention, esp when they get bigger as they like fresh leaves several times a day. I have been raising mine in plant propagators that I bought from mitre 10. By plugging in the propagator I can keep them comfortably warm throughout their growing process.

    I’m happy to share eggs with anyone wanting to raise some, but you need to have a mulberry bush nearby, and be willing to give them the TLC that they need to grow them successfully.

    #39421

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    I am growing a mulberry tree too. There are silkworms in Auckland and I can probably get some but in the spring. I have my hands full at present so please get back to me in a couple of months

    #39415

    clinton9
    Participant

    I’m afaid all Silk-Worm are extinct in New Zealand, along with Chinese lady who lives in Coromandel, is now dead.

    #39413

    TgaLiz
    Participant

    In the 80s when I was living in Auckland I met a Chinese lady who lived on the Coromadel and bred silk worms. She said she had all the mulberry trees nearby ‘booked’ so she could get enough to feed them. No idea if she is still there or what happened to the silkworms but the moths can’t fly or survive easily without human management, so they may have died out.

    #39411

    whstler
    Participant

    Hi Jacqui.

    Do you still have information about where one might acquire some silkworms? I’m growing a mulberry and would like to see about growing the moths.

    Thank you.

    #29564

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Srangely enough we had a visitor today who (as a boy) had hundreds of silk moths on their property – they had plenty of mulberry trees. He would have been in his 70’s now, lived in Christchurch but it would have been semi-rural then I guess.

    No the man I heard of lives in Northland. Will get onto it when I get back to Ak.

    #29561

    Jane
    Participant

    Are they in Christchurch Jacqui?

    #29560

    clinton9
    Participant

    I had not been collected cocoons of Tree of Heaven Silk moth in Auckland last winter as I were in Far North.

    #29556

    Anna
    Participant

    Ye-ha Jacqui…that sounds great!

    #29553

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    I have found someone who does breed silkworms in NZ.

    Want to follow up later in the year. Will update progress here.

    #29550

    Antherina
    Participant

    I’m surprised that the silkworm (Bombyx mori) is not allowed in New Zealand. It is totally domesticated and cannot exist in the wild and is such a good educational species. Silk has been produced for thousands of years, but not exclusively from the silkworm. Silkmoths of the family Saturnidae, which includes the gum emperor moth, the atlas moth, the hercules moth, the moon moths and the tussore silk moth etc, have also been used. Ailanthus silk from the tree of heaven (ailanthus or cynthia) moth was tried in the USA, and Europe. When this failed the moths were released and there were small unproblematic populations in New York, Paris and Italy. They may be dwindling? Anecdotal evidence suggests the New York populations are. I have bred many species of silkmoth, but that was when I lived in Scotland, buying from supplies such as Worldwide Butterflies Ltd (www.wwb.co.uk).

    #26628

    Chrisalis
    Participant

    I have more info now, but I feel it is in the best interest of the bugs for me to only share it with my GPS from now on.

    My apologies to the bugs f

Viewing 25 replies - 26 through 50 (of 70 total)

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