This study surveys the induction of RNA polymerase III (Pol III)–directed expression of short interspersed element (SINE) transcripts by various stresses in an animal model, silkworm larvae. Sublethal heat shock and exposure to several toxic compounds increase the level of Bm1 RNA, the silkworm SINE transcript, while also transiently increasing expression of a well-characterized stress-induced transcript, Hsp70 messenger RNA (mRNA). In certain cases, the Bm1 RNA response coincides with that of Hsp70 mRNA, but more often Bm1 RNA responds later in recovery. Baculovirus infection and exposure to certain toxic compounds increase Bm1 RNA but not Hsp70 mRNA, showing that SINE induction is not necessarily coupled to transcription of this particular heat shock gene. SINEs behave as an additional class of stress-inducible genes in living animals but are unusual as stress genes because of their high copy number, genomic dispersion, and Pol III–directed transcription.