Evaluation of different strains of eri silkworms (Samia cynthia ricini B.) for their adaptability and silk yield in Ethiopia
Eri silkworms, Samia cynthia ricini B., is one of the silkworm races under utilization in Ethiopia. However, it has several strains with wide variation in their commercial traits and selection and utilization of best suited strains of this eri silkworm race that adapt to different agro-ecologies will help to increase silk productivity and profitability. In this experiment, one Vietnamese (Eri- 3.4) and three Indian (Eri-yellow, Eri-green and Eri-marked) eri silkworm strains were evaluated in different locations (Melkassa, Hawassa, Wondo-Genet and Jimma) which represents different agro-ecologies of Ethiopia. The experiment was laid out in Completely Randomized Design (CRD) in six replications. Thus, different silkworm strains showed statistical significant silkworm characteristic ranges in different locations which include egg hatchability (62.61% to 89.00%), larval duration (20.67days to 25.83 days), total life cycle duration (50.49 days to 74.00 days), single weight of larva (4.427 grams to 8.155 grams), effective rate of rearing (60.11% to 93.67%), single cocoon weight (1.848 grams to 2.903 grams), single shell weight (0.251 grams to 0.418 grams) and silk ratio (13.06 to 15.05%). However, a Vietnamese eri silkworm strain known by Eri-3.4 have showed an outstanding performance compared to other strains in all the locations especially in cocoon parameters. Therefore, it is recommended for future research and development efforts on eri silkworms in Ethiopia.
Keywords: Eri Silkworm, Strains, Performance, Cocoon