Silkworm Caterpillars: Reading Practice 1 (explanation)

By | December 22, 2017

Silkworms live for only two or three days after laying eggs. About 36,000 to 50,000 eggs are laid, and these are carefully stored at the silkworm farm until they are ready to hatch.

The eggs hatch into caterpillars, which feed on mulberry leaves. Soon, the caterpillars are ready to spin their cocoons. Not all caterpillars can spin silk cocoons. Only the caterpillars of a silkworm moth known as ‘Bombyx mari’ can do such spinning. This caterpillar has special glands which secrete liquid silk through its lower lip. The liquid produced later hardens to form fine strands.

The caterpillar makes its cocoons using these strands. The threads on the outside of the cocoon are rough, while those inside are soft and smooth.

Some fully-spun cocoons are heated. This kills the pupa inside. The cocoons are then put into hot water to loosen the fine threads. Finally, these threads are reeled off the cocoons.

1. The text is about … .
A. how caterpillars lay eggs
B. how silk is made from cocoons
C. how caterpillars’ egg hatch
D. how silkworm cocoons live
E. how silkworms produce threads

2. The main idea of paragraph 2 is … .
A. Silk strands are made of liquid produced by Bombyx Mari’s glands
B. Only Bombyx Mari has special glands that produce silk strands
C. Silk is actually the hardened form of Bombyx Mari’s silk liquid
D. Not all caterpillars can do the spinning of silk cocoons
E. Lower lip of a silkworm caterpillar produces lots of silk liquid

3. The silk liquid that is made into strands is produced in the caterpillars’ … .
A. lower lip
B. mouth
C. eggs
D. pupa
E. glands

4. Cocoons are spun from … , which are actually hardened silk liquid.
A. special glands
B. laid eggs
C. silk strands
D. caterpillar pupas
E. mulberry leaves

5. The word this in the last paragraph refers to … .
A. fully-spun cocoons
B. the heating of cocoons
C. cocoons put into hot water
D. the killing of the pupa
E. soft and smooth thread

6. Use context clues. What does hardens in paragraph 2 mean?
A. becomes hard
B. made harder
C. hardly ever
D. really hard
E. hard enough

7. The word secrete in the second paragraph means … .
A. build
B. form
C. make
D. produce
E. shape

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