Wild moths are silkworms which live in the wild. In a broad sense, wild moths refer to lepidopterous insects which create cocoons such as Antheraea yamamai Guérin-Méneville and Dendrolimus spectabilis. In a narrow sense, wild moths refer to insects which belong to the Saturniidae and Bombycoidae species. Silkworms (Bombyx mori) are called domesticated silkmoth because they were breed by humans for several thousand years and they can only survive indoors. Wild moth is a term which is usually paired up with domesticated silkmoth. We collect and preserve Saturniidae moths, wild moths in a narrow sense. Saturniidae moths are used in comparative research on silkworms because they are related to silkworms of Bombycidae species (Bombyx mori). The characteristics of wild moth such as genes, development, physiology, morphology, life history and ecology are different from silkworms in many ways. The results from the completion of silkworm genome analysis are expected be applied to wild moths research.
Our objectives are to collect wild moth variants, to stabilize the maintenance of wild moths, to preserve wild moths which are difficult to maintain in the prefecture’s agricultural laboratory and to provide these wild moths as research material to universities and research institution or as teaching materials to junior schools, junior high schools and high schools.
Mainly, we collect and preserve Samia cynthia pryeri Butler, Samia cynthia ricini Donovan, Antheraea yamamai Guérin-Méneville, Antheraea pernyi Guérin-Méneville and Rhodinia fugax Butler. Every year, we breed a total of more than 20 mutant strains and wild moths collected from various locations. Moreover, we cryopreserve more than 60 mutant strains and wild moths collected from various locations.