Influence of forestry host plants and rearing seasons on silk gland weight of tropical tasar silkworm, Antheraea mylitta (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) under Doon valley conditions of Uttarakhand in India

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  • ABSTRACT

    Tropical tasar silkworm, Antheraea mylitta is a commercial forest silkworm in India that produces tasar silk, but never experimented in Uttarakhand, a Himalayan state of India. A. mylitta express divergent phenotypic characters under different ecological conditions; so, we studied the effect of seven forest tree species in two rearing seasons on variability in silk gland weight of Daba (bivoltine) ecorace of A. mylitta at Forest Research Institute in Dehra Dun, Uttarakhand during 2012 and 2013. We used two-way completely randomized block factorial design and Post HOC Tukey’s HSD test to analyse the collected data and there after carried out multiple regression analysis. Results indicated that silk gland weight differed significantly between rearing seasons (DF=1, F=2333.98, p <0.05), host plants (DF 6, F= 1516.25, p <0.05) and their interactions (DF=6, F=7.10, p <0.05). Higher silk gland weight was found in second rearing season than the first on all the host tree species. Terminalia alata fed A. mylitta larvae showed the highest silk gland weight of 8.03 and 9.47 g in first and second rearing seasons, followed by T. tomentosa (7.19 & 9.01g), T. arjuna (6.8 & 8.08 g) and L. speciosa (6.57 & 7.83 g) fed larvae, respectively. Post HOC Tukey’s HSD test indicated that silk gland weight of L. speciosa and T. arjuna fed larvae in both the rearing seasons did not differ significantly. E.I. analysis also confirmed that T. alata, T. tomentosa, T. arjuna and L. speciosa are better in their order of merit than T. bellirica , T. chebula and L. tomentosa. Multiple regression analysis indicates that larval weight gain is a strong predictor (β=1.002, t=346.777, p = <0.05) for the silk gland weight of A. mylitta ; however, larval duration had significant negative regression weight (β=-0.270, t=-8.436, p = <0.05) on mean weight of silk gland.


  • KEYWORD

    tropical forests , forest silkworm , forest dependent people , forest based livelihood opportunity , vanya sericulture , poverty alleviation

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  • [Fig. 1.] Map of the study area
    Map of the study area
  • [Fig. 2.] Average maximum and minimum temperature (0C) at the study site (Year: 2012-14).
    Average maximum and minimum temperature (0C) at the study site (Year: 2012-14).
  • [Fig. 3.] Average maximum and minimum relative humidity (%) at the study site (Year: 2012- 2014).
    Average maximum and minimum relative humidity (%) at the study site (Year: 2012- 2014).
  • [Fig. 4.] Average bright sunshine (h/d) and mean wind velocity (Km/h) at the study site (Year: 2012-14).
    Average bright sunshine (h/d) and mean wind velocity (Km/h) at the study site (Year: 2012-14).
  • [Fig. 5.] Average rainfall and number of rainy days at study site (Year: 2012-14).
    Average rainfall and number of rainy days at study site (Year: 2012-14).
  • [Table 1.] Normal weather data* of New forest, FRI, Dehra Dun
    Normal weather data* of New forest, FRI, Dehra Dun
  • [Fig. 6.] Chawki rearing (up to second moult) of A. mylitta under mosquito net: (a). On Terminalia bellirica, (b). On T. alata and (c). On Lagerstroemia speciosa.
    Chawki rearing (up to second moult) of A. mylitta under mosquito net: (a). On Terminalia bellirica, (b). On T. alata and (c). On Lagerstroemia speciosa.
  • [Fig. 7.] Second instar larvae of A. mylitta: (a & b). Just moult out II instar larvae, (c). II instar larvae before moult, (d). II instar larvae feeding on Terminalia alata plants and (e). Grown up second instar larva.
    Second instar larvae of A. mylitta: (a & b). Just moult out II instar larvae, (c). II instar larvae before moult, (d). II instar larvae feeding on Terminalia alata plants and (e). Grown up second instar larva.
  • [Fig. 8.] Third instar larva of A. mylitta: (a). Second moult out 3rd instar larva, (b). 3rd instar larvae before third moult and (c). Grown up 3rd instar larva.
    Third instar larva of A. mylitta: (a). Second moult out 3rd instar larva, (b). 3rd instar larvae before third moult and (c). Grown up 3rd instar larva.
  • [Fig. 9.] (a & b). Fourth instar moult out larva, (c). Feeding of IV instar larvae on Lagerstroemia speciosa, (d). Grown up IV instar larva and (e). Larva before 4th moult.
    (a & b). Fourth instar moult out larva, (c). Feeding of IV instar larvae on Lagerstroemia speciosa, (d). Grown up IV instar larva and (e). Larva before 4th moult.
  • [Fig. 10.] (a & b). Moult out 5th instar larva, (c, f, g, h). Grown up fifth instar larva, (d) 5th instar larvae feeding on Terminalia tomentosa and (e). 5th instar larvae feeding on T. bellirica.
    (a & b). Moult out 5th instar larva, (c, f, g, h). Grown up fifth instar larva, (d) 5th instar larvae feeding on Terminalia tomentosa and (e). 5th instar larvae feeding on T. bellirica.
  • [Fig. 11.] (a, b & c). Dissection of matured larva of A. mylitta to get silk gland and (d). Silk gland of A. mylitta.
    (a, b & c). Dissection of matured larva of A. mylitta to get silk gland and (d). Silk gland of A. mylitta.
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  • [Table 2.] Analysis of variance for the effect of rearing seasons, host plants and their interactions on weight of silk gland (g) in mature larvae of A. mylitta
    Analysis of variance for the effect of rearing seasons, host plants and their interactions on weight of silk gland (g) in mature larvae of A. mylitta
  • [Fig. 12.] Effect of rearing seasons and host plants on weight of silk gland (g) in matured larvae of A. mylitta.
    Effect of rearing seasons and host plants on weight of silk gland (g) in matured larvae of A. mylitta.
  • [Table 3.] Effect of rearing seasons and host plants on weight of silk gland (g) in matured larvae of A. mylitta, reared on different host plants
    Effect of rearing seasons and host plants on weight of silk gland (g) in matured larvae of A. mylitta, reared on different host plants
  • [Table 4.] Tukey HSD test for the effect of rearing seasons on weight of silk gland (g) in matured larvae of A. mylitta, reared on different host plants
    Tukey HSD test for the effect of rearing seasons on weight of silk gland (g) in matured larvae of A. mylitta, reared on different host plants
  • [Table 5.] Tukey HSD test for the effect of host plants on weight of silk gland (g) in matured larvae of A. mylitta, reared on different host plants
    Tukey HSD test for the effect of host plants on weight of silk gland (g) in matured larvae of A. mylitta, reared on different host plants
  • [Table 6.] Tukey HSD test for the effect of interactions between rearing seasons & host plants on weight of silk gland (g) in matured larvae of A. mylitta
    Tukey HSD test for the effect of interactions between rearing seasons & host plants on weight of silk gland (g) in matured larvae of A. mylitta
  • [Table 7.] Evaluation Index (E.I.) for the weight of silk gland (g) in matured larvae of A. mylitta, reared on different host plants
    Evaluation Index (E.I.) for the weight of silk gland (g) in matured larvae of A. mylitta, reared on different host plants
  • [Table 8.] Multiple regression summary for dependent variable ? weight of silk gland in matured larvae of A. mylitta
    Multiple regression summary for dependent variable ? weight of silk gland in matured larvae of A. mylitta