This section is from "Scientific American Supplement Volumes 275, 286, 288, 299, 303, 312, 315, 324, 344 and 358". Also available from Amazon: Scientific American Reference Book.
By ALFRED WAILLY, Membre Lauréat de la Société d'Acclimatation de France.
By referring to my reports for the years 1879 and 1880, which appeared in the Journal of the Society of Arts, February 13 and March 5, 1880, February 25 and March 4, 1881, it will be seen that the bad weather prevented the successful rearing in the open air of most species of silk-producing larvæ. In 1881, the weather was extremely favorable up to the end of July, but the incessant and heavy rains of the month of August and beginning of September, proved fatal to most of the larvæ when they were in their last stages. However, in spite of my many difficulties, I had the satisfaction of seeing them to their last stage. Larvæ of all the silk-producing bombyces were preserved in their different stages, and can be seen in the Bethnal-green Museum. In July, when the weather was magnificent, the little trees in my garden were literally covered with larvæ of more species than I ever had before, and two or three more weeks of fair weather would have given me a good crop of cocoons, instead of which I only obtained a very small number. The sparrows, as usual, also destroyed a quantity of worms, in spite of wire or fish-netting placed over some of the trees.
On the trees were to be seen--Attacus cynthia (the Ailantus silkworm), the rearing of which was, as usual, most successful; Samia cecropia and Samia gloveri, from America; also hybrids of Gloveri cecropia and Cecropia gloveri; Samia promethea and Telea polyphemus; Attacus pernyi, and a new hybrid, which I obtained this last season by the crossing of Pernyi with Royle. For the first time I reared Actias selene, from India, on a nut-tree in the garden, and Attacus atlas, on the ailantus. The Selene larvæ reached their fifth and last stage. The Atlas larvæ only reached the third stage, and were destroyed by the heavy rains; only two remained on the tree till about the 8th or 9th of September, when they had to be removed. I shall now reproduce the notes I took on some of the various species I reared.