The present study was aimed to evaluate the effects of different methods of foliar application of the additives nandrolone decanoate (anabolic steroid) 0,5%; ascorbic acid (vitamin C) 0,5%; retinol palmitate (vitamin A) 0,5%; and retinol acetate (vitamin A) 1,0% on some biological parameters of the silkworm. The experiment of application method (foliar spray prior to delivery, after delivery and soaking before feeding) used: nandrolone decanoate 0.5%, ascorbic acid 0.5%, and retinol palmitate 0.5%. The test of insect development evaluated: duration and larval viability, weight of cocoon, cocooning rate, liquid silk content, adult longevity, number of eggs per female and rising up time. For the application of foliar additives, the following were determined: weight gain, length, diameter and abdomen diameter of fifth instar larvae, and length, diameter and weight of silk gland. The results showed that although ascorbic acid provided the best value for the development of the caterpillars body, it did not correspond to significant increase in production; retinol palmitate did not affect the larvae body development; retinol acetate and retinol palmitate prolong the larval period, without, however, significantly altering the production parameters. The immersion method of leaves before being delivered to the caterpillars is the most feasible for the foliar application of additives.
silkworm; anabolic steroid; vitamin C; vitamin A; larval development; silk production