All About the Silkworm
The silkworm, Bombyx mori, has been used for several thousand years for the production of silk around the world. Even in what is now the United States a silk industry was started in the early 1600’s in Virginia when King James 1 sent over silkworm eggs and mulberry seeds to colonists. Nowadays, there isn’t much of a silk industry within the United States. However, silkworms are gaining popularity with reptile & amphibian owners as a feeder insect.
Silkworms make a great feeder insect for the following reasons, they are soft bodied, they do not bite and they have an excellent calcium to phosphorus ratio. Moreover, silkworms are high in protein and are low in fat. The calcium to phosphorus ratio is important for reptiles to properly build bones as they mature. The average Ca:P ratio for silkworms is 0.83:1 which is much higher than banded crickets (0.14:1) and mealworms (0.097:1). This means that the reptile can more easily absorb calcium when fed silkworms than the crickets or mealworms.
When feeding any feeder insect to your pet reptile, it is important to gut load and dust the insect prior to feeding it off. There are many different insect gut loads available on the internet. A gut load is the practice of feeding the insect very nutrient-rich foods so that those nutrients benefit the reptile that eats the insect. Gut loading and dusting your feeder insects will allow your pet reptile to consume the nutrients and minerals it needs to properly develop.
In closing, silkworms have a great calcium to phosphorus ratio and provide excellent nutrition to your pet reptile or amphibian. Make sure to properly dust and gut load your feeder insects, including silkworms. Remember that silkworms should not be the only insect that you feed to your reptile or amphibian, make sure to feed a varied diet for best results.