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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Deathshead Hawk atropos pupae
Availability: Winter 2017/18

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 display 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

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

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.



Lime Hawk tiliae Breeding stock of 5 pupae


Lime Hawk Mimas tiliae



Store the pupae cool until a month before the moths emerge in spring and summer. Pairings and laying are easily achieved. The larvae thrive sleeved on Lime or Elm. They pupate underground and emerge the following spring. Single brooded.




Privet Hawk S ligustri Pupae

Privet Hawk Sphinx ligustri


One of the largest Hawkmoths. Store the pupae cool for the winter.

The caterpillar becomes enormous and is characteristic of the name Sphinx moths, by its sphinx-like resting position. Adults emerge in June and July.  They need nectar from the flowers of Privet, Valerian, Buddleia. 


Larval foodplants: Privet, Lilac, Ash, also reportedly Spiraea, Viburnum opulus, and other Viburnums,  Holly, Dogwood, Snowberry, Apple, Pear, Oleander, Leycesteria, Currant.


One generation in the year. Privet Hawks breed readily in a large cage with nectar and foodplant. 



Pine Hawk H pinastri pupae

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

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.


Broad-bordered Bee Hawk H fuciformis pupae SPECIAL PRICE!

Broad-bordered Bee Hawk Hemaris fuciformis


PROMOTION PRICES: 5 pupae £25.95 NOW £21.95, TEN for £39.95


During the winter keep the dormant pupae cool. The adults emerge in June. The wings are covered with very loose grey scales on the freshly emerged moths. When they fly, the scales are flung off, leaving clear areas, more like the wings of bees and wasps.


Provide breeding adults with nectar flowers, and sprigs of Honeysuckle leaves for egg-laying.  This is a very special species – one that will give a lot of pleasure.

Extremely difficult to obtain. 


Elephant Hawk elpenor pupae

Elephant Hawk Dielephila elpenor


Store dormant pupae cool for the winter. The moths emerge in June/July. Cage with nectar flowers and springs of Willowherb – you do not see the pairings but fertile eggs are easily obtained. 


An exceptionally pretty moth with amazing and characterful larvae, with eye-spots and probing “trunks”. Young larvae are green, later changing to charcoal black, with occasional rarities remaining green.


Larvae feed on Willowherbs, Fuschia, Creepers.


High recommended.



Small Elephant Hawk porcellus pupae SALE PRICE

Small Elephant Hawk Dielephila porcellus


FIVE Pupae £22.00 SALE PRICE now £17.95

TEN  Pupae £37.95 SALE PRICE now £32.95

A charming, quite small Hawkmoth, coloured intense magenta and orange, flying in June/July.  Store pupae cool for the winter. Set up with nectar flowers and sprigs of Bedstraw for egg-laying. The larvae are miniatures of the Elephant Hawkmoth and not difficult to rear. Prepare lots of Bedstraw in advance. 


The larvae are recorded as accepting these alternative foodplants: Willowherbs Epilobium, Busy Lizzie and Balsam Impatiens, Vines Vitis, Creepers Parthenocissus, and Purple Loosestrife Lythrum.



This is an unusual species if you want to try something new.


Oleander Hawk nerii 2 pupae
Availability: December

Oleander Hawkmoth Daphnis nerii  


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


One of the finest of all Hawkmoths. The larvae are very fast growing indeed and they consume a lot of food. Apart from Oleander Nerium, the larvae thrive on Periwinkle Vinca, and can be reared on Privet Ligustrum. Pupae will produce adults this spring.


To overwinter autumn pupae, 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 (10-15 degrees C) away from predadors. Bring into the warm in April ready for May emergence.