A silk spinning moth, the ailanthus moth (Bombyx or Philosamia cynthia), lives on its leaves, and yields a silk more durable and cheaper than mulberry silk, but inferior to it in fineness and gloss.
The ailanthus silkworm of Europe is a hybrid between A.
Merino sheep bred at the Cape of Good Hope have been found far better adapted for India than those imported from England; and while the Chinese variety of the Ailanthus silk-moth is quite hardy, the variety found in Bengal will only flourish in warm latitudes.
The so-called Ailanthus silk produced by Saturnia cynthia is woven at Lai-yang into a strong fabric; and the manufacture of the peculiar kind of wax obtained from the la-shu or wax-tree insect is largely carried on in the vicinity.
Other species of ailanthus are: A.
The Cynthia moth, Attacus cynthia, is domesticated as a source of silk in certain provinces of China, where it feeds on the Ailanthus glandulosa.