I spent a few hours in the university's entomology lab on Monday researching silkworm distributors and comparing prices for dry diet formulas. It looks like $25.00 will buy you a petri dish of 3,000 eggs through Mulberry Farms - which is probably a little more than any one person really needs. While discussing the work I would do for the class with my professor the teaching assistant from my Entomology 101 class walked in and was immediately assigned a role as my supervisor, which was a surprise to the both of us. It looks like I'll be raising the silkworms, preparing worksheets for future students on their care and feeding, and creating a powerpoint presentation and lecture on Bombyx mori as well as the process of silk production.
I've heard the department will order 100 larvae to start things off this semester and I will be in charge of them all. However, I dread the prospect of cleaning up after that many "gut dumps" - when they reach the end of their fifth-instar stage and expel all the waste in their system to get ready to spin silk.
Also, Admiral Chewie died while I was away on break. R.I.P.