The worm which spins or produces silk threads. For thousands of years the Chinese would not allow the eggs of the silk-worm to go out of the country. About 550, two monks are said to have brought to Europe a few eggs hidden in their canes. Now it is quite domesticated, and has been so long fed by man that the female is nearly as motionless as if she had no wings, and the male merely flutters without leaving the ground.