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Silkworm

See [[Linen]]; [[Fine]]. There can be little doubt of the correctness of English Versions of the Bible "silk" for meshi in Eze 16:10, "I girded thee about with fine linen (shesh), and’ covered thee with silk (meshi)," and in the similar passage, Eze 16:13. Silk is produced by all Lepidoptera, butterflies and moths, but it is of great economic importance only in the Chinese silkworm, Bombyx mori, whose larva, a yellowish-white caterpillar from 2 to 3 in. long, feeds on the leaves of the mulberry (Morus). A pair of large glands on the two sides of the stomach secrete a viscous fluid, which is conveyed by ducts to an orifice under the mouth. On issuing into the air, the fine stream is hardened into the silk fiber, which the caterpillar spins into a cocoon. Within the cocoon the caterpillar is presently transformed into the chrysalis or pupa. The cocoons from which silk is to be spun are subjected to heat which kills the pupae and prevents them from being transformed into the perfect i