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Propagation technique and rearing performance on lagerstroemia speciosa: a new food plant of tasar silkworm antheraea mylitta d.

Author: 
Gargi, HarendraYadava, Manbendra Deka, Rajendra Kumar and Alok Sahay
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Terminalia arjuna Bedd. is a slow growing plant and it takes minimum four/five years after plantation to take up silkworm rearing on these plants. Present study reports for the first time propagation technique of Lagerstroemia speciosa for rearing of tropical tasar silkworm Antheraea mylitta D. on the foliage of L. speciosa vis a vis Terminalia arjuna. Rooting percentage did not differ much during various seasons in L. speciosa. Most suitable months for vegetative propagation are from March to September. Days taken for rooting extended significantly during December in both the species. Results reveal that silkworm rearing on L. speciosa can be taken up after 2/3 years of plantation and two consecutive rearing can be conducted on same plants whereas T. arjuna takes 4-5 years and can sustain only one rearing in a year. First crop rearing results show that larval duration was slightly higher in L. speciosa (32 days) as compared to T. arjuna (28 days). Similar trend was observed during second crop also where larval duration was more in L. speciosa (52 days) as compared to T.arjuna (43 days). ERR (%) was almost similar on both the food plants in both crops. Silk ratio (%) was 13.08 in L. speciosa and 13.38 in T. arjuna. During second crop, silk ratio ranged between 14.55 % in T. arjuna to 14.96% in L. speciosa. There was slight difference in the filament length in the cocoons harvested on L. speciosa and T. arjuna but non-breakable filament length was almost similar in T. arjuna (366.25m) and L. speciosa (364.75m). Grainage behavior in L. speciosa was at par with T. arjuna. Therefore, it is concluded that L. speciosa can be taken up under block plantation/mixed plantations in rainfed areas for tropical tasar culture as it is easy to propagate and fast growing as compared to T.arjuna. Moreover, it has an added advantage over T. arjuna that two consecutive silkworm rearing can be taken up on the same plantation.

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