WINTER PUPAE for breeding in the following season

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Privet Hawk S ligustri Pupae
Availability:   


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
Availability: Autumn 2018


Pine Hawk Hyloicus pinastri

 

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.

 

 

Willowherb Hawkmoth Proserpinus proserpina Pupae
Availability:   



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
Availability:   


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
Availability:   


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
Availability:   


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.

 
 

Spurge Hawk H euphorbiae 4 pupae
Availability:   


Spurge Hawk  Hyles euphorbiae 4 Pupae

 

These  pupae are extra fine in size and quality. Only a few. They are for breeding this summer.

 

Dormant pupae are kept cool for the winter. Adults emerge in June/July.

 

Provide nectar flowers and potted Spurge plants for egg-laying. The best Spurges are Cypress Spurge (cyparissias), Wood Spurge, Sea Spurge, and the annual Sun or Petty Spurges are all suitable.  Eggs are laid in clutches near the tips. The young larvae are black and cluster. 

 

Soon they take on amazing spots and stripes of yellow, red, white and green.  Some of the most colourful larvae in the world.

 

 

 

 

     

  

£15.50
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.

 

Puss Moth D vinula pupae
Availability: Autumn 2017


Puss Moth  Dicranura vinula

 

 

An absolute favourite of seasoned breeders, yet ideal for beginners. Cocoons are formed on bark and are harder than bark.  Moths emerge in May.  Pairings are easy, no foodplant or flowers necessary. Eggs are laid on the cage or box, in considerable numbers. The larvae are amazing, with twin tails which eject fine scarlet flagellae when the larva is disturbed. The large larva has a fearsome “face” and a characteristic saddle of purple, on bright green. This species is amongst the most curious larvae in the world.

 






 


 

Buff Tip Moth bucephala A breeding stock of 5 pupae
Availability: Late summer


Buff Tip Moth Phalera bucephala

 

The Buff Tip, once very common, is remarkable and a must for the enthusiast.  The eggs are laid in a tight cluster on a leaf underside of the foodplant. A hatched group of eggs is illustrated and you can see the skeletonised leaf left by the tiny larvae as they progress feeding across the leaf. The larvae are gregarious and quite conspicuous by the trail of eaten leaves, and the fact that they form quite a lumpy cluster! 

They are coloured with a netted pattern of yellow and black, warning colours that ward off predators, and larger larvae have a covering of long, fine white silky hairs. The group does not disperse until pupation when they descend to burrow quite deep into the soil.

The moth is a master of deception, rolling its wings to form a silvery tube with extraordinary likeness at either end to a broken branch. If it flies up on being disturbed, it is hard to spot on landing, unless you know what you are looking for, because it so closely resembles a piece of branch.  The larvae feed Maple, Birch, Hazel, Laburnham, Poplar, Prunus (Plums and Blackthorn), Oak, False Acacia Robinia, Hazel, Rose, Willows, Sallows, Lime, Elm, Viburnums.

We recommend Buff Tips as a great experience of nature.

£10.50
Kentish Glory E versicolora  pupae
Availability:   


Kentish Glory  Endromis versicolora 

 

Store pupae refrigerated until February/March when the adults emerge and breed. Provide Birch twigs for females to lay their clusters of yellow eggs. In normal cold conditions, the eggs don't hatch before the foodplant buds open.  

 

This species is now found only in Scotland, and parts of Central Europe. These are European stock. Emerging as early as February. The first eggs and larvae are ready in March.  Clusters of bright yellow eggs are laid on bare Birch twigs.  Just go out and cut some twigs and arrange them in the cage. The eggs gradually change to a deep purple colour which matches the colour of the twigs. In captivity, the eggs can hatch before the Birch buds are open, so keep some twigs warm inside, standing in water, to get them to sprout.

If you can sleeve the larvae on a growing plant, potted or in the ground, rearing is very easy. The larvae, black at first,  cluster on the twigs. Later they are green and spread out a little, clinging on to the twigs, they look just like Birch catkins. Absolute masters of camouflage. In May the larvae pupate in leaf litter and settle down until the new season starts again in February. This is a very easy species: just make sure you have enough growing foodplant (it can be in pots). The male and female moths share the same patterning, but the female is much larger and the male has particularly rich chestnut markings. Pairing is easy. Just leave the moths together and Nature takes care of things.

Note Kentish Glory larvae can also be fed on Hazel, Alder, Hornbeam, and Lime. It is probable that other alternative tree species may be used as foodplant.

Our thanks to Jens Stolt who has kindly allowed us to use his beautiful illustration of the life history of this rare species.

 

Small Eggar Moth Eriogaster lanestris 6 cocoons
Availability:   


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.

 

£12.95