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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White Prominent bicoloria 3 pupae
Availability: December 2017

White Prominent Moth Leucodonta bicoloria

Hardly ever seen in the British Isles, probably extinct now. This very beautiful member of the Prominent Moth family is easily reared on Birch. Overwinters as the pupa.

Small Eggar Moth Eriogaster lanestris 6 cocoons

Small Eggar Moth Eriogaster lanestris 6 cocoons

Now only a few left.

The moths emerge in March/April. Because of modern practice of hedge management, this once common species is nowadays a rare find. Tight clipping of hedges destroys the habitat and undoubtedly the eggs and larvae.

Egg clusters are laid in batches, covered with black fluff from the tip of the female's abdomen, on branches of the foodplant Blackthorn Prunus spinosa or Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna. The larvae cluster, and even large larvae live within, and on the outsite of a prominent white tent of silk, very often at the end of a branch, with no attempt at concealment. It is likely that the larvae in captivity could be reared on Apple and Plum, though we have not tried these.

Don't be tempted to handle the larvae. They have short, decorative hairs, which easily come away and penetrate the skin, like short cactus prickles, and this gives rise to intense irritation. No doubt this is why the larvae can afford to display themselves in the wild so openly. No predator will try to eat them once they learn, and the larvae are patterned in warning colours to advertise the danger.

To pupate, the larvae descend to form a tight cocoon with a smooth shell-like a nut, in concealed leaf litter or moss, where they spend the winter. In early spring, the moths are fully formed within the pupal shell, ready to emerge the moment they sense that conditions are right. If you take the nut-like cocoons from the cold and put them into room temperature, the moths will suddenly break open the ends of the cocoons and there will be a whole lot of moths in a very short time!

You might help to spread the species locally if you can find thorn hedges that are not regularly trimmed. Cocoons are immediately available. Keep them in the fridge until April. You will enjoy observing this species, in all its interesting stages, and maybe could introduce it to your area.


Giant Peacock Moth pyri Cocoons  SPECIAL PRICES

Giant Peacock Moth Saturnia pyri



Magnificent - Europe’s largest moth. Flies in May, pairs easily and lays prodigiously. Exotic looking larvae.

Rear the larvae in warm, dry conditions. They are very easy to rear in the first instars and extra care is needed to bring them through the final instars. They repay proper care, growing fast and changing colour.


The large larva is as handsome as the tropical Saturniidae and has much in common with Moon Moth larvae, but with sapphire blue tubercles. They do well on Blackthorn and Plum and will often feed on other fruit trees and HawthornWillows, Alder and Birch.






Pseudantheraea discrepans Pupae SALE PRICE

Pseudantheraea discrepans Central Africa


  2 pupae normal price £12.50 NOW £  8.95

  5 pupae normal price £29.50 NOW £22.95

10 pupae normal price £55.95 NOW £43.95

We have not had these amazing green pupae for years!  Furthermore, we may not get them again!

The larvae pupate in small groups, spinning a very open-mesh hammock to support the pupae until the moths emerge when the rains come. We have never had another species with pupae like this.

The moths are infinitely variable. See the illustrations.

There are few accounts of rearing in captivity but we believe that larvae will feed on Salix (Willows, Sallows and Osier). Undoubtedly other foodplants will also be accepted. The picture of the larva here is a species whose larvae is very similar.

Here is an opportunity to try something really new and exciting! 

Giant Atlas Moth Attacus atlas cocoons SPECIAL PRICES!

Giant Atlas Moth Attacus atlas


SPECIAL PRICES 5 for £29.95 NOW £24.95. 10 for £59.90 NOW £45.95

The largest moth in the world.  Winter cocoons are dormant. You can choose whether to incubate them or keep them cold until the spring. To get them to emerge, raise the temperature to 15 degrees C, and gradually up to 30 degrees C or more, and very humid. They need very warm and humid tropical conditions. When hot soak the cocoons at least once or twice daily. 

It is probably better to keep them cool (8 -12 degrees C) and dormant until mid-April, or even May, then raise the temperature and humidity as described above.  They will respond better to summer conditions.

Pairing is achieved in a cage that is ample for the size of the moths but not so large that they can become too separated.


Larvae feed on Privet and are easily reared in conditions that are warm and moist.  Atlas larvae will also feed on Tree of Heaven Ailanthus, Osier Willow Salix viminalis, Citrus and undoubtedly a number of other substitute plants outside their normal habitat.









Robin Moth Hyalophora cecropia cocoons SPECIAL PRICES

Robin Moth Hyalophora cecropia North America



Cecropia is a magnificent sight with its gaudy colouring of red and white on charcoal.


Pairing is exceptionally easy. The very colourful larvae do very well sleeved unless too cold and wet. Foodplants include Lilac, Cherry, Pear, Apple, Acer, Plum, Alder, Birch, Dogwood, Willows especially Osier Salix viminalis, Elm, Beech, Gooseberry, Privet, Poplar.


SPECIAL PRICES 2 for £18 now £16, 5 for £34.95 now £28.95 , 10 for £69.90 now £49.95

Chinese Oak Silkmoth A pernyi 3 cocoons

Chinese Oak Silkmoth Antheraea pernyi


A large species, and probably the best for beginners.

The moths emerge in May onwards. Eggs are laid on the sides of the cage. Feed the larvae on Oak, Apple, Hawthorn, Willow and other trees and shrubs. Black at first, the larvae become green, with decorations of orange. They become very large and eat a great deal of food. Although an oriental species, pernyi  has now become established in Europe. Highly recommended for those who are looking for a spectacular moth, with exotic larvae, and easily reared. 


£15.00 £13.95
Madagascan Emperor Antherina suraka Madagascar  cocoons
Availability: Spring 2018

Madagascan Emperor  Antherina suraka cocoons

Not only is the moth highly colourful and attractive, but the larvae are also most interesting, having an almost infinite number of different colour forms.

The moths pair as easily as pernyi (!) and lay lots of eggs.

The larvae are easy to keep indoor or sleeved out in summer weather,  and will take a variety of foodplants. Those reported include Oleander, Privet, Willows, Beech, Liquidambar, Hawthorn, Grapevine, Lilac, Cherry, Laurel, Forcythia, Rhus, Pistachia, Apple, Pear, Plum, Peach and Cabbage.

We highly recommend this species.


American Moon Moth Actias luna Cocoons

American Moon Moth Actias luna North America



A very attractive Moon Moth that emerges from May and breeds exceptionally easily.  The larvae feed well on Walnut, Birch, Osier Willow, Liquidambar, Plane, Maples, Aspen, Plum, Sallow,  Several kinds of Oak and maybe other foodplants.


A second brood is produced in late summer. 



African Moon Moth Argema mimosae Cocoons

African Moon Moth Argema mimosae 



The moth is a miniature of the Giant Madagascan Moon Moth as a whole lot easier to breed!  Spray the cocoons daily, keep at about 25 degrees C, or a little more, and they start to emerge as they do in the rainy season.


Pairings are not automatic but not difficult. The larvae are most spectacular and they thrive on Eucalyptus, which is evergreen and therefore suitable for rearing in summer or winter. Other foodplants recorded: Liquidambar, Walnut, Sumac Rhus sp.


(No Promotion price stocks left)





Chestnut Emperor menippe A breeding stock of 5 pupae

Chestnut Emperor Melanocera menippe

This is an unusual coastal species of Giant Silkmoth from Kenya. The pupa is formed underground.

The caterpillar is unusually coloured black, covered with fleshy tubercles and markings in scarlet.

The local foodplants are Ochna atropurpurea and Ficus chordata. We have no record of any alternative foodplants, if anyone knows of one please let us know and we will post it on the website. Many African species take to alternatives such as Hawthorn or Oak, and it is well worth trying a mixture if you get a pairing resulting in larvae. It is also worth trying Fig and Evergreen Oak (tender leaves if available).

Gonimbrasia zambezina  Two pupae

Gonimbrasia zambezina Africa



Subterranean pupa. Stock fresh in from Africa. The moth is large and beautifully marked in shades of grey, red and yellow, with prominent eye-spots.


Foodplants need confirming but larvae may take to several different trees. These have been reported: Oak, Oleander, Persimmon, Sumac & Brazilian Pepper.


Supplies of pupae are limited.