Current EGGS and LARVAE

If you are a beginner and need information on rearing from small caterpillars, or hatching out pupae, please order the All Colour Paperback BUTTERFLIES. INSTRUCTIONS ARE NOT SENT WITH EACH SPECIES, you need to acquire basic skills and this book is a simple way of doing so.

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Morpho peleides 10 larvae
Availability: April

Morpho peleides Central and South America


UK addresses: these larvae are bred in Holland. Express courier has to be used. Please order XXP which arrives usually next day instead of a week or more in the post, which puts the larvae at severe risk. See XXP on this website.  XXP is also mandatory for international orders.


We have seldom been able to list Morpho larvae before.  Morpho larvae will usually eat Calathea, a generally available pot plant in a variety of species. The European foodplants tried so far with success are Salix (Willows and Sallows), of which there are a number of species, not all of which will succeed.  Our breeder is currently using Willow to rear his larvae. Also False Acacia Robinia pseudacacia, Clover, Laburnum, Peanut and Wisteria. We don't guarantee any of the foodplants, but here is a chance to learn by experience! 


Some warmth is required, about 25-30 degrees. The larvae are fast growing. Young larvae have an interesting black ruff around the head. They are highly colourful and patterned in Burgundy and yellow, with decorative tufts of hair. 


Pupae are suspended from the tail, like green Christmas baubles.


This is a rare opportunity. Give them a try.


OSIER A wonderful foodplant. Ten cuttings
Availability: NOW

Osier Willow cuttings Salix viminalis


Years ago we planted a stick that was floating down a river in Wiltshire.  That was in 1954! It grew – rapidly – producing a wealth of leaves.  We tried it as a foodplant and discovered that not only did British species do well on it, but exotic silkmoth larvae as well.


This stick was the daddy of hosts of willow thickets that we have established in Dorset, Cornwall and in France.


Osier is Basket Willow, the flexible essential for basket weaving. It makes a wonderful woven hedge. It can form living sculptures. Winter or summer, Osier makes wonderful screens and windbreaks. Cover for wildlife and game. Osier is grown as a crop for energy production. In short it is a blessing to the environment, and very pleasant on the eye in landscaping schemes.


We are offering a bunch of 10 cuttings for you to try not only as probably the most universal foodplant for larvae, but a great addition to your garden and grounds. 


Probably the easiest cuttings to strike and grow. You simply push them into the ground, during autumn or spring. Leaves will appear within the first fortnight if planted in spring, roots quickly follow. In the first year they will more than double in size. Next year, in normal drought free conditions,  you will have a metre or more of growth and lots of foodplant. You may even be able to feed some in the first year.

You can store cuttings before planting, either in a polythene bag in the fridge, or standing in water. In water they often start to root. It is advisable to plant them before the roots actually burst out of the bark.


This plant is a complete success story – you will be pleased you tried it!



Owl Butterfly Caligo species 10 larvae
Availability: April 2018

Owl Butterfly Caligo South America


UK addresses: these larvae are bred in Holland. Express courier has to be used. Please order XXP which arrives usually next day instead of a week or more in the post, which puts the larvae at severe risk. See XXP on this website.  XXP is also mandatory for international orders.


Magnificent and huge butterflies. Usually Caligo memnon or eurylochus. The larvae are fast-growing and eat quite a lot!


The larvae feed on leaves of Banana, Calathea, Canna and Strelitzia. They may take Bamboo, though this is not certain.

ACP. Butterflies - used copy
Availability: NOW

All Colour Paperback BUTTERFLIES Robert Goodden.

A comprehensive guide - outlining techniques for the breeding and study of butterflies and moths. This book also shows a grand selection of butterflies of every continent. Packed with essential information, colourful pictures and diagrams by the butterfly artist JOYCE BEE. Paperback. 160  pages. 7 x 4". An essential guide for the beginner.


This book went out of print many years ago. WWB bought the entire stock of the English language edition. Stocks have now sold out. There are some used copies, damage or marking mainly on the covers, which does not materially affect the content. Even these are now down to rather few copies.

Published by Hamlyn. Available only from Worldwide Butterflies.



Artificial Mulberry Diet for 20 Silkworms
Availability: NOW

Artificial Mulberry Diet for 20 Silkworms

Until now it has not been possible to rear silkworms without their natural foodplant Mulberry. Mulberry is often difficult to find but we are now able to offer a very convenient artificial diet that can be used as a substitute food, in any part of the world and at almost any time of the year, providing you can keep the silkworms at 25-28 degrees C. Eggs supplied in November/December will need to be refrigerated for 8-12 weeks before incubation.

The diet is sent as a sachet of powder that is easily prepared in the kitchen. It comes in two sizes that give sufficient food for the entire life of the silkworms, enough for 20 and 50 Silkworms. The powder can be kept for a year or more in a fridge. Made up diet can be refrigerated and kept for some eight weeks. The life of a silkworm kept at the required temperature is about 5 weeks. (If you buy a collection of 6 named races please remember you need food for 6 times the number of eggs bought)

Artificial diet takes a lot less time and trouble than rearing on leaf.  More importantly this enables rearing when Mulberry cannot be obtained. Eggs supplied in November - January will need to be refrigerated for 8-12 weeks before incubation. Rearing Silkworms is very educational and suitable for schools and families.

Availability: NOW



A complete outfit for rearing silkworms from egg to cocoon, and reeling your own raw silk. Everything is provided: a small batch of eggs, food for the entire life of 20 silkworms, all the rearing equipment, detailed educational documentation and instructions, and a miniature reeling device.

There is even a small bag of cocoons so that you can practise reeling, and don't have to wait to rear the cocoons from the egg.

Normally Silkworms feed on Mulberry leaves. This is an uncommon tree that is not always readily available, so we are providing a substitute food, which is a powder that comes with the necessary instructions for preparing the artificial diet in the kitchen. You will have a supply of fresh food always available for the silkworms throughout their life of about a month.

The Mini Silk Farm can be bought at any time of the year. The eggs are stored in a fridge until incubation. Although rearing in summer is easier because of temperature, you can rear silkworms almost throughout the year, if you can keep them at about 25º-28ºC. Eggs supplied in winter will need to be refrigerated for 8-12 weeks before incubation.

The instructions guide you through easy rearing, preparation of the artificial diet and the reeling process. The Mini Silk Farm is fun and unusually educational.

£59.50 £39.50
Pyjama Mini Cage 22 x 29 x 25cm high SALE PRICE!
Availability: NOW

Pyjama Mini Cage 22 x 29 x 25cm high

This popular cage has just got even better. Nearly a third larger, and much improved dimensions.

Ideal as a beginner's cage, but also for the busy breeder who wants separate small cages. Excellent as an emerging cage for chrysalides and cocoons, ideal for keeping small numbers of larvae or other insects, when large enough for cage rearing.

This cage is suitable for laying out small numbers of pupae to emerge. Also for rearing smaller numbers of larvae or smaller larvae. Baby larvae should be first reared in plastic rearing containers or kept covered on growing food. Please see the note on the page for plastic rearing containers. This cage will hold small covered pots of plant, and larger sizes of cage are available for larger subjects.

When necessary the netting cover can be slipped off for cleaning or replacement. The Pyjama Mini cage is assembled in minutes and easily packed flat for winter storage. As the interest grows there are larger sizes available. For the experienced breeder the Mini Cage has many uses where a series of smaller cages is needed for separating species and giving different treatment.



£22.95 £18.95
Painted Lady cardui 10 larvae
Availability: From April 2018

Painted Lady Vanessa cardui



Orders to be sent internationally will be sent feeding on diet instead of leaf. This means they travel better in the journey by post, and they can be changed to leaf on arrival.


The Painted Lady butterfly occurs in more continents of the world than any other butterfly. The larvae are easy to rear on Thistle (its preferred food plant), Burdock, Stinging Nettle, Mallow, Hollyhock and will often take other foodplants. An ideal species for schools.

Each larva lives solitarily from birth. It spins a protective silk cover, living at first off the leaf cuticle. When possible, keep the larvae on a growing foodplant, which enables the caterpillar to make its silk cover, and move on to fresh food when it requires. If kept on cut food, please ensure that the plant is kept fresh and changed before the quality of the food suffers. This of course applies to all species, but the method has to take into account the solitary habit of the larva, and its protective silk.


Depending on temperature, the larvae pupate in a little over a month. Butterflies emerge in 2-3 weeks. The cycle continues throughout summer and several broods are possible in a season.


The butterflies can be kept with nectar flowers for some days, and then except in the colder months October to March, released to breed in the wild.


There may be a delay of a couple of weeks if larvae are not at the right size for sending. Can be ordered immediately.

Larvae are often quite small when sent. Too small  to be put into a cage or aquarium. They are best reared on growing foodplant, enclosed in a sleeve. Alternatively keep in a plastic box, lined with absorbent paper, and changed daily. For details see the All Colour Paperback BUTTERFLIES.



Painted Lady cardui  5 larvae in Pot on Diet
Availability: NOW

Five Painted Lady larvae in Total Environment Pot


Ready immediately!


The five Painted Lady caterpillars live their whole life inside the see-through pot which contains all they need from birth to pupating. You need add no food. You don’t even clean them out and they look after themselves over weekends!


The larvae grow quite quickly in summer indoor conditions (never keep them in direct sunshine).  The container is easily passed round a group without disturbance to the larvae.

During skin change the larvae do not move or eat This may last a day or two.


Don't be alarmed by this: it is a natural stage in their development.


When the larvae have finished eating, they suspend themselves from a silk pad spun on special absorbent paper in the lid. Here they cast their caterpillar skin.  If you are lucky and look at the right moment you can see the actual moment of change from caterpillar to chrysalis.


Let the chrysalis harden for a couple of days, then hang the paper pinned inside a cage for the butterflies to emerge.

You can keep the butterflies for a few days in a cage with nectar flowers. Then, except in the colder months October to March, release them into the wild where they may breed naturally in your area. Please keep the larvae and pupae in an even room temperature (around 18-22º) day and night. Keep away from direct sunlight or a direct heat source such as a radiator.

The instructions are printed above - please note them for the arrival of the larvae which are not sent with further instructions. If you are sending larvae as a present, please remember the recipient will not have these instructions, unless you copy them to the recipient.


Can be ordered in advance. During the season there may be a delay of a couple of weeks or more if larvae are not currently at the size for sending. 

One pot of 5 Painted Lady caterpillars £13.95         Six pots of 5 Painted Lady caterpillars for group study (one supplied free!) for only £69.75


Queen of Spain Fritillary lathonia 10 Larvae
Availability: Spring

Queen of Spain Fritillary Issoria lathonia Larvae


The silver spangles on the underside of this Fritillary surpass all other species!  A medium-sized Fritillary that is very easy to rear on Pansy leaves and flowers. It is best to have potted food which is available from garden shops. The easiest method is to enclose the potted plant entirely within a netting sleeve. A sleeve with zip access is most convenient. Please ensure that the plants have not been treated with insecticide at any time. 


Larvae will produce butterflies this year if kept warm indoors.



Silver-washed Fritillary paphia 10 larvae
Availability: NOW

Silver-washed Fritillary Argynnis paphia


Post-hibernation larvae, feeding well and growing, to pupate in late spring and produce butterflies this season.


Feed on Violet or Pansy leaves – best kept on potted food.  Make sure that, if you buy potted foodplant, there had been no insecticide used  to produce them!


Keep hibernating larvae in leaf litter, in a plastic box in a very cool place for the winter. They wake in January/February and then need to be enclosed inside a sleeve, on potted violet.







Scarce Fritillary Hypodryas maturna 10 larvae
Availability: March

Scarce Fritillary Hypodryas maturna

Hibernating larvae being sent out NOW. Keep sleeved outside amongst a ball of dry fallen leaves. This is a RARE opportunity!

We are very pleased to be able to offer larvae of this scarce and interesting relative of the Marsh Fritillary. It is an arboreal species, frequenting woodland. The larvae particularly favour feeding on Ash and Aspen, as well as feeding on Honeysuckle and Scabious. There are some isolated colonies in France and Sweden, but most are found in extreme Eastern Europe and eastwards towards Siberia. Winter larvae can be hibernated in sleeves.