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J Econ Entomol. 2017 Aug 1;110(4):1404-1411. doi: 10.1093/jee/tox140.

Antheraea pernyi (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) and Its Importance in Sericulture, Food Consumption, and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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School of Life Science and Medicine, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China.
Department of Life Science and Biopharmaceutics, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, Shenyang 110016, China.
Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Box 7044, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden.
Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Uppsala University, BMC, Box 596, SE-75123 Uppsala, Sweden.


Sericulture was developed in China in ancient times. Antheraea pernyi Guérin-Méneville was domesticated at least 2,000 yr ago, and Chinese farmers developed artificial rearing of A. pernyi before the 17th century. Today, >60,000 tons of cocoons are produced in China each year, which accounts for 90% of the world production. Despite the widespread utilization of A. pernyi in China and a long history of domestic research, the knowledge of A. pernyi outside China is limited. Therefore, we have in this paper summarized the production, usage, and breeding of A. pernyi. The foremost usage of A. pernyi is as silk producers; however, about 55-70% is used for other purposes. In this paper, we give examples of how the different developmental stages are used as a food source for human consumption and in traditional Chinese medicine, both directly in different preparations and also as a nutrient source for rearing medicinal fungi.


Antheraea pernyi; Chinese oak silkmoth; Tussah moth; entomophagy; traditional Chinese medicine

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