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CURRENT PUPAE - Chrysalides and cocoons

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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Graphium agamemnon Asia 8 pupae
Availability: June

Graphium agamemnon Asia 

Very distinctive lime-green patterning on dark background. The butterflies "dance" on the flowers whilst feeding. At rest the wings are usually open wide.

The larvae feed on Custart Apple and other Annonaceae.


Silver-washed Fritillary paphia 4 pupae
Availability: June 2018

Silver-washed Fritillary Argynnis paphia


These pupae will produce butterflies in this year. The butterflies will lay on netting. Early in the season, the young larvae may be persuaded to feed (on Violet leaves), instead of going into hibernation. In southern Europe there are 2 or more broods, and these may behave likewise.



Heath Fritillary athalia PUPAE
Availability: June/July


Heath Fritillary Melicta athalia


There are more orders this year than there are pupae but later orders will be supplied from later stock if possible this year, otherwise later orders will be held for supply in 2018.


Pupae very seldom offered and these are imminent. These will hatch in June.


Common in parts of Europe, and a rare and very localised species in Britain.  The larvae thrive on narrow-leaved Plantain Plantago  and bear a remarkable resemblance to its flowerheads.  July/August larvae will normally hibernate, but if kept in warm conditions, some may grow and produce butterflies again this year.



Black Hairstreak pruni 5 pupae SPECIAL PRICE!
Availability: NOW only until 28 May 2018

Black Hairstreak Strymonidia pruni



Only available until Monday 28 May 2018


The Black Hairstreak is one of Britain’s greatest rarities, occuring in very few localities, but doing well in them. Foodplant Blackthorn. We are pleased to be able to offer this very special species now as pupae. 


£60.00 £50.00
Brown Hairstreak betulae TEN pupae
Availability: June/July 2018

Brown Hairstreak Thecla betulae


Pupae of this species hardly ever become available. A curious pupa, superbly camouflaged. Pair the butterflies in captivity and get the females to lay on Blackthorn twigs. Store for the winter in a cool place that is not totally lacking in moisture. The eggs are used to a cold, wet winter! The larvae hatch when the Blackthorn (Sloe) buds open.  Supplies are limited - first come first served.





£45.00 £34.95
Adonis Blue bellargus 5 pupae
Availability: Summer 2018

The Adonis Blue Lysandra bellargus


The intense blue iridescence of the male is unmatched in Europe. The female has a rich burnt umber colouring.  To raise the larvae you need Horseshoe vetch Hippocrepis comosa, a low-growing plant, covered with yellow flowers in May, requiring calcareous soil.  The larvae, which will also feed on Coronilla, feed rapidly and pupate among the base of the foodplant.  In Britain the Adonis is double brooded, the adults flying in June and August.




Deathshead Hawk atropos pupae
Availability: Summer

Deathshead Hawkmoth Acherontia atropos Pupae


2017 orders have been supplied. We hope there may be some late autumn pupae. If not, your order will be held for priority dispatch in 2018. 


These pupae will produce moths this year.


In winter moths may be produced before spring if the pupae are kept warm.  To overwinter, bury the pupae in light compost that is not too damp but not allowed to dry out. The top of each pupa should be just showing. Store in a cool place (10-12 degrees C) away from predadors. Bring into the warm in April ready for May emergence. 


The larvae feed on many plants in the potato family, Solanaceae, but you don’t have to have these to keep the larvae, they do well on Privet. They have also been found feeding on Buddleia, resulting in a pale coloured larva that matches the leaves. The duration of the egg stage is just a few days, and the larvae grow probably twice as fast as our native hawkmoth larvae, completing their life cycle in as little as 4-6 weeks in summer temperatures.


The moth is just amazing to have alive on your hand! It is furry, and squeaks – almost like handling a little mammal. It also humps its back and displays the blue markings on the body, as well as the famous skull and crossbones on the thorax. The moth needs to feed, not from flowers but from a pad soaked in weak honey or sugar solution. They will seldom feed themselves: it is necessary to hold each moth firmly and, with a strong setting needle, guide the short mouth tube into the sweet feeding pads. They will resist the handling, but once the proboscis samples the sweet solution, they usually coninue feeding of their own accord for some time. The moths may need this assistance repeatedly every few days. Moths have been found inside beehives, attracted by the sweet smell of honey. 




Oak Hawk Marumba quercus PAIR of pupae
Availability: NOW

Oak Hawk Marumba quercus pupae

A very special European rarity. A much sought after species. Pairings are not difficult. The larvae feed on Oaks, with a preference for Evergreen Oaks. Pupae emerge in  summer.

Click on picture of dried Oak leaves to see remarkable camouflage 














Eyed Hawk Smerinthus ocellata pupae
Availability: NOW

Eyed Hawk Smerinthus ocellata



Pupae are stored cool for the winter. Lay them out in April for May emergence. Pairings extremely easy. Larvae feed on Apple, Willows and Sallows. The larvae do best on living foodplant because these plants do not last well in water. Very attractive larvae, highly camouflaged with silvery markings on green, and very streamlined. Single brooded. The moth has beautiful hindwings which it flashes if disturbed. Huge eyespots brightly coloured with magenta and blue. Highly recommended. 


Additional reported foodplants: Poplars, Blackthorn, Lime, Privet, Alder, Birch, Plum, Blackthorn, some Viburnums, Various Prunus, Laurel.



Pine Hawk H pinastri pupae
Availability: NOW

Pine Hawk Hyloicus pinastri


For several seasons this species has been difficult to obtain. We have just obtained a new stock of pupae.


Moths emerge in June/July from pupae stored cool for the winter.  Provide nectar for the adults, and sprigs of pine for the moths to lay on.  The moth is patterned in shades of grey, with black streaks. A rarity in Britain.


Easy to pair and lay. Larvae do well sleeved on pine in pots or the ground.  The larvae are masters of camouflage in all their stages.


The larvae change their camouflage pattern at each skin change. Full of interest, and easy to rear.



Theretra japonica Pupae
Availability: NOW

Theretra japonica Asia.  Pupae

Another first for WWB. This streamlined Hawkmoth occurs in subtropical Asia and is seldom bred in captivity.

The larvae feed on a number of climbing plants. They thrive on Grapevine and Virginia Creeper Parthenocissus. but also accept Hydrangea and Willowherbs.  They strongly resemble the larvae of Ampelophaga rubiginosa  but with prominent eye-spots a little like those of the Elephant Hawkmoth. There are different colour forms of greens, browns and khaki.

The pupa is characterised by the keel-like formation of the proboscis.

This is an opportunity to breed and rear a species that is relatively unknown, and to contribute to knowledge of its habits and lifehistory.



Sphingonaepiopsis gorgoniades Eastern Europe/Asia a PAIR of pupae
Availability: NOW

Sphingonaepiopsis gorgoniades Eastern Europe/Asia

An expensive rarity for the connoisseur.

A little-known Hawkmoth with characteristics of shape, pattern and build in common with Proserpinus proserpina and a larva that is remarkably like the caterpillar of the Hummingbird Hawkmoth Macroglossum stellatarum. 

Larvae feed on Bedstraws Gallium and are reported to accept other Rubiaceae, but we have not discovered any examples.

Pupae overwinter. There may be up to 3 broods according to locality and climate.