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a family of moths having a relatively stocky body, a rudimentary mouth, and pectinate antennae. The external edge of the forewings is dentate, with a crescent-shaped peak. The larvae have a spinelet on the eighth segment of the abdomen, and the anterior part of the body is narrow. The pupa develops in a silk cocoon.
There are about 20 species, distributed mainly in the tropics. The Chinese silkworm moth (Bombyx mori) is cultivated in the USSR. Wild species of the genera Theophila and Oberthueria also occur in the USSR.
In the 19th century the term “silkworm moth” was used to refer to a group of moth families that do not feed in the adult stage, including Notodontidae, Lymantriidae, Lasiocampidae, Bombycidae, and several others. Some species from these families continue to be referred to as silkworm moths, including Lymantria dispar, Dendrolimus pini, D. sibiricus, Antheraeapernyi, and A. jamamai.
M. I. FAL’KOVICH