Programmed cell death has been subdivided into two major groups: apoptosis and autophagic cell death. The anterior silk gland of Bombyx mori degenerates during larval-pupal metamorphosis. Our findings indicate that two types of programmed cell death features are observed during this physiological process. During the prepupal period, pyknosis of the nucleus, cell detachment,and membrane blebbing occur and they are the first signs of programmed cell death in the anterior silk glands. According to previous studies, all of these morphological appearances are common for both cell-death types. Autophagy features are also exhibited during the prepupal period. Levels of one of the lysosomal marker enzymes-acid phosphatase-are high during this period then decrease gradually. Vacuole formation begins to appear first at the basal surface of the cell, then expands to the apical surface just before the larval pupal ecdysis. After larval-pupal ecdysis, DNA fragmentation, which is the obvious biochemical marker of apoptosis, is detected in agarose gel electrophoresis, which also shows that caspase-like enzyme activities occur during the programmed cell death process of the anterior silk glands. Apoptosis and autophagic cell death interact with each other during the degeneration process of the anterior silk gland in Bombyx mori and this interaction occurs at a late phase of cell death. We suggest that apoptotic cell death only is not enough for whole gland degeneration and that more effective degeneration occurs with this cooperation.