The Bombycidae are a family of moths. The best-known species is Bombyx mori (Linnaeus) or silkworm, native to northern China and domesticated for millennia. Another well-known species is Bombyx mandarina, also native to Asia.

Bombyx mori Caterpillar 30days 02.jpg
Caterpillars of the silk moth
(Bombyx mori), age 30 days
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Superfamily: Bombycoidea
Family: Bombycidae
Latreille, 1802

See text


The family was recently severely restricted, and currently contains only one or two subfamilies, the Bombycinae and Epiinae (previously the tribe Epiini). The former subfamilies Oberthueriinae and Prismostictinae have been placed as subjective junior synonyms of Endromidae. The former subfamilies Apatelodinae and Phiditiinae have been reinstated as separate families.[1][2]


This list is provisional. Ephoria may be a synonym of Epholca (Geometridae: Ennominae: Ourapterygini), and Epia may be one of Hadena (Noctuidae: Hadeninae: Hadenini), and may also be placed within Apatelodidae, along with Tamphana. Some genera were formerly placed in Apatelodinae, such as Anticla and Quentalia.[3]


  1. ^ Zwick, Andreas; Regier, Jerome C.; Mitter, Charles; Cummings, Michael P. (2010-09-30). "Increased gene sampling yields robust support for higher-level clades within Bombycoidea (Lepidoptera)". Systematic Entomology. 36: 31–43. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3113.2010.00543.x.
  2. ^ Kitching I, Rougerie R, Zwick A, Hamilton C, St Laurent R, Naumann S, Ballesteros Mejia L, Kawahara A (2018) A global checklist of the Bombycoidea (Insecta: Lepidoptera). Biodiversity Data Journal 6: e22236.
  3. ^ Hamilton, C.A., St Laurent, R.A., Dexter, K. et al. Phylogenomics resolves major relationships and reveals significant diversification rate shifts in the evolution of silk moths and relatives. BMC Evol Biol 19, 182 (2019).