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.
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Vol. 110 • No. 4