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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Oak Hawk Marumba quercus 2 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
Availability: November onwards

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.



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. 



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.



Willowherb Hawkmoth Proserpinus proserpina Pupae
Availability: Autumn 2017

Willowherb Hawkmoth Proserpinus proserpina


This rather rare Hawkmoth is a gem, seldom encountered, though it lives throughout much of western and central Europe, eastwards into Russia.  The larva is rather like a grey form of Small Elephant Hawk. The foodplant is Rosebay Willowherb Epilobium, Evening Primrose Oenothera and Purple Loosetrife Lythrum. The pretty little green moth has prominent egg-yolk coloured hindwings.  The normal flight period is June and July.



Broad-bordered Bee Hawk H fuciformis pupae

Broad-bordered Bee Hawk Hemaris fuciformis



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. 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: NOW

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.


£18.50 £15.95
Convolvulous Hawk convolvuli pupae Pupae

Convolvulous Hawkmoth convolvuli Herse convolvuli


The pupa has an exceptionally large proboscis case protruding, like a jug handle! Keep the pupae warm and they will produce adults this summer. Otherwise you can store the pupae cool for the winter and allow to hatch in May/June. 


The larvae feed on most Convolvulous species. The moth likes to feed from deep throated flowers (Tobacco Nicotiana is a favourite).


Females lay a large number of eggs.



Ampelophaga rubiginosa from Far Eastern Russia A breeding stock of 5 pupae

Ampelophaga rubiginosa from Far Eastern Russia


Summer pupae may be incubated to produce another generation, or kept cool to breed next season.


Never before offered by WWB. This Hawkmoth is seldom available. The moths apparently seldom come to light, nor to flowers. Its range extends from the Himalayas, Far East (Russia, China, Japan), southwards through, Myanmar and Thailand, and Indo China to Malaysia and Sumatra. Markings of the moth and depth of colour are quite variable.


The larvae are very attractive, differing with changes of instar; very streamlined and strongly reminiscent of the North American Darapsa myron. In the final instar some larvae have a patterned brown form. They feed on Virginia Creeper and Boston Ivy Parthenocissus and Vine Vitis. There are reports of larvae accepting Hydrangea paniculata, Salix and Malus. It seems that there is a need to confirm these and maybe finding other food plants. Try Osier Salix viminalis, which has been so successful for many species, but have creeper or vine available in case the experimental plants are rejected.


The pupae have the curious habit of wriggling violently when sprayed, even appearing to hop around!


The number of generations in a year depends on the latitude and climate. In captivity and summer conditions, a second brood is quite probable. 


This species is highly recommended for the connoisseur breeder, and a great photographic opportunity.


Cinnabar Moth Hipocrita jacobaeae pupae
Availability: NOW

Cinnabar Moth Hipocrita jacobaeae pupae


Once an extremely common British Moth, less common over most of Europe, but over the last 10 years there has been a marked decline in numbers. The summer of 2016 brought a reversal of this decline and we have a fine stock of pupae available, as a result of breeding.

The larvae feed on Groundsel and Ragwort Senecio. The larvae are ringed in bright orange and black, nature's warning colours, and they absorb chemicals from the foodplant that adversely affect predators who ignore the warning. Ragwort is a mis-understood plant that provides an abundance of nectar to bees, butterflies and other insects. There is evidence that Ragwort plants that are pulled up and left to dry, can be detrimental to cattle and horses if they eat the dried plants. Animals can be seen grazing safely in fields containing growing green plants. There is nothing to be gained from pulling up Ragwort plants, because they are biennials that flower and die in the same year. So a patch of Ragwort can provide valuable nectar to thousands of wild insects, and be host to Cinnabar larvae and, job completed, it dies at the end of summer. 

The Cinnabar moth flies by day, more than by night, and is protected from predators, by the very striking colours of charcoal and scarlet, and bitter-tasting chemicals derived from the larval foodplant, enabling the moth to display its bright colours, yet not be attacked by predators. 

Cinnabar larvae can be raised in sleeves on growing Ragwort. We find the sleeves fitted with a zip are particularly successful. When the larvae are large, if you put in the sleeve several handfuls of springy wood shavings or dried leaf litter, they will form thin silken cocoons in which to pupate.

Could you help to spread this colourful day-flying moth again in your area?

Store pupae cool for the winter, even in a fridge, loose in a plastic box, without any padding.  In May lay them out in an emerging cage and wait for the moths to emerge.