ailanthus silkworm

noun

: a large green silkworm (Cynthia samia) native to China that feeds especially on the tree of heaven

Note: The ailanthus silkworm was introduced into the United States in the late 1800s in an unsuccessful attempt at commercial silk production.

compare cynthia moth

Word History

First Known Use

1860, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ailanthus silkworm was in 1860

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Cite this Entry

“Ailanthus silkworm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ailanthus%20silkworm. Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

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