EXOTIC BUTTERFLY PUPAE

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EXOTIC BUTTERFLY PUPAE  

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Most exotic pupae emerge quite quickly. For international orders, post takes too long, so fast-developing pupae are sent by XXP Express courier.  Delivery in Europe is usually next day after dispatch. In cases where shipping by express courier is shown as Advisory, rather than Obligatory, please remember that you accept all risks of delay, hatching, exposure to adverse conditions, death, loss or damage in transit.  Such risks are almost eliminated by using express courier, which usually delivers everything very fresh and in the peak of condition.

IMPORTANT - Please read this guide to hatching of exotic butterfly pupae: 

Provide warmth and humidity that the pupae normally experience in the tropics. About 30°C is ideal, and humidity above 70%. The butterflies like a warm greenhouse containing nectar plants, and this is the best place also for the emerging cage for the pupae. Shade the cage from direct sun, which is too harsh. If you don’t have such an environment, you may be able to simulate a warm and humid atmosphere in another way, but don’t apply direct heat. The whole cage needs to be in an even temperature and humidity. It is usually beneficial to mist the pupae at least once a day. It is normal in nature for night to be cooler than day.

It’s a good idea to suspend the pupae. To do this, use a cane held horizontally. Apply a very thin line of contact adhesive eg Evostick along the cane. Lay the cane on a table and, when it is tacky but not yet set hard, touch the tails of the pupae on the line of glue. Warning: excess glue actually kills the pupa, so use just a very thin line. When the glue has set you can pick up the cane, with all the pupae hanging by their tails from it.

Pupae of the Swallowtail and Pierid families don’t hang from the tail (cremaster), head downwards. They are attached to a twig at the tail, and they use a silk sling around the wing cases to anchor themselves, head upwards and at an angle away from the twig. To simulate this, you can take some lengths of cane. Make a thin line of glue as described above. Lay the cane on a table, then attach the tails of the pupae to the glue line, and touch the abdomen also against the glue line. Once dry, the cane can be arranged standing at an angle against the sides of the emerging cage, or you can arrange them stuck into a block of florist’s foam. There needs to be enough space to allow the emerging butterflies to climb up, expand and dry their wings.

Usually fixing the pupae to a cane helps to give hatching butterflies the best foothold. When fixed to canes pupae are very exposed and can easily dry out. Mist them several times a day.  If you don’t wish to glue the pupae to a cane, they can be laid out on corrugated card or other rough surfaces, such as greengrocer’s imitation grass mats or coconut matting, flat on the bottom of the emerging cage. This material may help to keep the pupae moist if you spray them at least once a day.  For hygiene the material needs to be cleaned or replaced every few days.

Resulting butterflies do well in a tropical greenhouse, planted with lush greenery and copious nectar-bearing flowers. Some species like to feed from over-ripe fruit. They may live 2-4 weeks in such conditions, exceptionally they can live longer. Kept in a cage in a house, their life may be just a few days, but sometimes longer if they are given fresh nectar flowers each day, and misted to prevent the atmosphere becoming too dry. Non-native butterflies must not be released.

 

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Hypna clytemnestra Central America 5 pupae
Availability: March


Hypna clytemnestra Central America

This Nymphalid is unlike no other butterfly. Medium to large in size. The tailed wing-shape is unique, and the underside is cleverly disguised with white and slivery markings, which appear to be light shining through decaying leaves.

The upperside is sometimes displayed showing the patterning in bitter chocolate and cream. The pupa is another curiosity!

£18.50
Idea leuconoe Philippines 8 pupae
Availability: March


Idea leuconoe Philippines

Magnificent smooth and shiney brilliant gold pupae, like miniature Christmas tree baubles! Hang them in a warm and humid greenhouse atmosphere, shaded from sunlight.

The butterflies are very large and have extraordinary papery wings. Sometimes called the Kite Butterfly. They drift about, settling to feed from any good nectar source. They love Lantana and are particularly partial to Eupatorium.

The butterflies will sometimes live for weeks if the conditions are right. Very unusual and curious butterflies.

£16.95
Owl Butterfly Caligo species 4 pupae
Availability: March


Owl Butterfly Caligo pupae South America

By any standards, these are huge butterflies, with impressive colouring and markings, both on the upperside and with the owl-like underside. The pupae will be unspecified species but will all produce magnificent and breath-taking butterflies.

Owl Butterflies fly at dusk and dawn in particular, so they like low light conditions.

The pupae are massive, pretty well as big as any other in the world. They are naturally formed on Banana trees, which are the foodplant of the larvae, and they resemble the spent and decaying banana fronds around the trunk. Hang the pupae in an emerging cage, out of the sun, but in warm and moist conditions. A greenhouse is ideal. Let the butterflies feed on dishes of rotting fruit and do include banana, which they really love.

Provide warmth and humidity that the pupae normally experience in the tropics and sub tropics. About 30°C is ideal, and humidity above 70%. The butterflies like a warm greenhouse containing nectar plants, and this is the best place also for the emerging cage for the pupae. Shade the cage from direct sun which is too harsh.

It’s a good idea to suspend the pupae. To do this, use a stick or wooden rod held horizontally. Apply a very thin line of contact adhesive eg Evostick along the rod. Lay the rod on a table and, when it is tacky but not yet set hard, touch the tails of the pupae on the line of glue. Warning: excess glue actually kills the pupa, so use just a very thin line. When the glue has set you can pick up the stick, with all the pupae hanging vertically from it.

If you don’t wish to suspend the pupae they can be laid on corrugated card. The surface must remain clean and rough. For hygiene the corrugated card needs to be replaced every few days.

£16.95
Morpho peleides pupae
Availability: March


Morpho peleides pupae

One of the world's greatest beauties - the iridescent blue of the Morpho butterflies is famous. The wingspan is very large, over 10cm. The butterflies are active at dusk and dawn. They like to sip from rotting fruit, but also take nectar from flowers. The pupa is like a small green Christmas bauble and is large for a butterfly pupa.

Few people get to experience one of these South American beauties. You can be one of them.  

Morpho achilles South America 2 pupae
Availability: March


Morpho achilles South America

Very rarely available. 

A very large butterfly with impressive contrasting and bold colouration. The underside is beautifully patterned with light multicoloured circles on a dark background. 

The butterflies are most active at dawn and dusk. They like to feed from rotting fruit.

£12.95
The Giant Orange Tip Hebomoia glaucippe 8 pupae
Availability: March


The Giant Orange Tip Hebomoia glaucippe  Tropical Asia.

A most impressive butterfly, very large, which shows up from a distance. The male has the brighter colouring. Females have more black marking.

Glaucippe breeds well in captivity, laying on Spider Plant Cleome whose seeds are often available from seedsmen. The caterpillar has markings that suggest the head of a serpent, which must give it substantial protection.

£17.95