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OSIER A wonderful foodplant. Ten cuttings
Availability: NOW


Osier Willow cuttings Salix viminalis

 

Years ago we planted a stick that was floating down a river in Wiltshire.  That was in 1954! It grew – rapidly – producing a wealth of leaves.  We tried it as a foodplant and discovered that not only did British species do well on it, but exotic silkmoth larvae as well.

 

This stick was the daddy of hosts of willow thickets that we have established in Dorset, Cornwall and in France.

 

Osier is Basket Willow, the flexible essential for basket weaving. It makes a wonderful woven hedge. It can form living sculptures. Winter or summer, Osier makes wonderful screens and windbreaks. Cover for wildlife and game. Osier is grown as a crop for energy production. In short it is a blessing to the environment, and very pleasant on the eye in landscaping schemes.

 

We are offering a bunch of 10 cuttings for you to try not only as probably the most universal foodplant for larvae, but a great addition to your garden and grounds. 

 

Probably the easiest cuttings to strike and grow. You simply push them into the ground, during autumn or spring. Leaves will appear within the first fortnight if planted in spring, roots quickly follow. In the first year they will more than double in size. Next year, in normal drought free conditions,  you will have a metre or more of growth and lots of foodplant. You may even be able to feed some in the first year.

You can store cuttings before planting, either in a polythene bag in the fridge, or standing in water. In water they often start to root. It is advisable to plant them before the roots actually burst out of the bark.

 

This plant is a complete success story – you will be pleased you tried it!

 

 

£12.95
American Black Swallowtail polyxenes asterias 15 eggs or 10 Larvae according to availability.
Availability: May 2019


American Black Swallowtail Papilio polyxenes asterias 

 

It is immediately evident from looking at this striking butterfly that it has a lot in common with the British and European Swallowtails and it is indeed so closely related that it will hybridise with either species. The larvae feed on Fennel and may take Carrot leaves and those of other Umbelliferae. The pupae overwinter but may produce a partial second brood of butterflies in late summer.

 


 

£12.95
Tiger Swallowtail glaucus 15 eggs or 10 larvae
Availability: June/July 2019



Tiger Swallowtail Papilio glaucus North America 15 eggs or 10 larvae according to availability

 

The Tiger Swallowtail is perhaps

North America’s grandest swallowtail. As a curiosity, a small proportion of females emerge as melanics, not as beautiful as the typical female, but different! They can be bred in captivity and the larvae are as exotic as many of the tropical swallowtails, with the Papilio eye markings and bird dropping camouflage in the early instars. Try feeding them on Cherry or Lime, and they will probably take a wider variety of foodplants. These have been reported: Ash, Cherry,  Tulip Tree Liriodendron, Magnolia, Birch, Poplar, Prunus, Apple, Willow, Alder.

 
 

£12.95
Papilio multicaudata North America 15 eggs or 10 larvae
Availability: June 2019


Papilio multicaudata North America 15 eggs or 10 larvae according to availability

This grand Swallowtail has only recently been offered by WWB. Allied to glaucus the Tiger Swallowtail, this species likewise has curious larvae with eye-like markings, in their later instars, that make predators wary. Recorded foodplants are Ash, Cherry, Choke Cherry and Ligustrum lucidum, so possibly Privet.

In warmer states there is more than one brood. These eggs and larvae will become pupae that can be hatched this season if they are raised under warm and light conditions.

 

£12.95
Green-veined White napi 10 larvae
Availability: Summer 2019


Green-veined White  Pieris napi

 

A delicate member of the White family, with variable markings and prominent underside veining.  The larvae feed on many Cruficerae with a particular liking for Jack by the Hedge Alliaria, Horseradish Armoracia rusticana, Cresses and Mustards.

 

Very easy to breed. Several generations are possible in a season. Hibernation is in the pupal stage. Keep the pupae cool or in the fridge until April. Lay them out to emerge in May and provide the adults with nectar flowers and stems of the foodplant on which to lay.

 

Harmless to garden plants (they prefer wild plants), this is a species you can breed to enhance the local countryside.

 

£10.95
Black-veined White crataegi 10 larvae
Availability: Spring 2019


Black-veined White Aporia crataegi 

 


Conservationists have recently announced that the climate in Britain is becoming more suited to the needs of this now extinct species and that it may yet become a re-established British species.

 

Larvae do well sleeved on Hawthorn (their preferred foodplant), Plum, Blackthorn, Apple. The larvae live in a cluster.  These will produce butterflies this spring.

Summer larvae spin a very small and concealed web on the branch, in which they hibernate. Leave the sleeve untouched for the winter. In spring they awake as soon as the buds burst, and begin to grow very quickly. They pupate often collectively, making very brightly coloured, angular pupae which are greenish white, with contrasting markings in black and yellow.

 

 

£15.95
Black-veined White crataegi Egg Batch
Availability: June 2019


Black-veined White Aporia crataegi 

 

Egg batches (at least 30 eggs) will be available in June. 

 

The larvae do well sleeved on Hawthorn (their preferred foodplant), Plum, Blackthorn, Plum or Apple. They live gregariously, spinning a very small and concealed web on the branch, in which they hibernate. Leave the sleeve untouched for the winter.

 

In spring they awake as soon as the buds burst, and begin to grow very quickly. They pupate often collectively, making very brightly coloured, angular pupae which are greenish white, with contrasting markings in black and yellow.

 


 

£12.95
Brimstone rhamni 10 larvae
Availability: June 2019


Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni

Both larvae and pupae are masters of camouflage. Quick growing, the larvae feed on Buckthorns Rhamnus catharticus or Frangula alnus. There are no substitutes, so locate some bushes in advance.

Resulting pupae produce butterflies this summer. They hibernate amongst ivy (when closed, the wings resemble ivy leaf undersides). They are difficult to hibernate in captivity so, by releasing the butterflies in summer sunshine, you may help to perpetuate the species each spring in your area.

 

 

 


£15.95
Citrus Swallowtail POT LUCK collection of 20 eggs
Availability: September 2018


Citrus Swallowtail POT LUCK collection of 20 eggs

This is great fun! You get 20 unidentified eggs that have been laid on Citrus plants in the butterfly house. They might be just one species but are much more likely to be mixed species.  Examples could include demoleus, polytes, bianor, rumanzovia,  memnon and other related species.

To rear these ideally you need potted Citrus trees in a greenhouse or somewhere you can keep warm and moist. The larvae are likely to accept substitutes such as Choisya and Skimmia.

The larvae develop fast in warm conditions, usually taking no more than 4 weeks from egg to adult, though some of the larger ones need a little longer.

Citrus larvae undergo a number of colour changes through the different instars, starting camouflaged as a bird dropping, but later taking on startling pattern with prominent eye-spots, in shades of green, with beautiful markings.

Don’t miss these – they are real fun!

£12.95
Clouded Yellow Crocea 10 Larvae
Availability: NOW


Clouded Yellow Butterfly Colias crocea 

 

 

A great favourite with entomologists and easy to rear on potted Clover. The easy way is to enclose the whole pot in a sleeve size 3. The larvae grow fast and will produce butterflies very quickly, particularly in warm conditions.

 
 

£12.95
Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae 10 larvae
Availability: NOW


Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae

 

Young larvae should preferably be kept on growing Stinging Nettle, covered with a netting sleeve, though they can be reared in the open without cover, as in the wild. The larvae can be kept in plastic rearing containers, cleaned out and fed daily as shown in the All Colour Paperback BUTTERFLIES. Container-reared larvae need to be scrupulously clean and always with very fresh food. Please read the notes at the head of Plastic Rearing Containers on the WWB website.

 

When larger, the larvae can be caged with cut nettle in a jar or water, on on potted growing foodplant. In a matter of weeks the pupae are formed hanging from the cage top, and the butterflies emerge in a little over a fortnight, depending on temperature.
 

The Small Tortoiseshell has suddenly become scarce where once it was common. By releasing either butterflies or larvae, it might help to bring back this once common butterfly.

The butterflies can be kept in a cage for a few days, with plenty of flowers for nectar, and then released to help the wild populations.


 

 

£19.95 £16.95
EARLY Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae 10 larvae
Availability: May 2019


EARLY Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae
 

 

One of the best species for young people and beginners. Larvae are sent in April/May. The best way to keep the young caterpillars is on potted nettles which should be prepared in early spring , regularly watered, and kept out of doors to make stocky growth. Prepare more than one pot of nettle. When the young larvae are received, bring the potted nettle indoors and place the young larvae on the foodplant, where they will look after themselves until they finish the food and are large enough to be kept in a cage on cut nettle in a jar of water. In a matter of weeks the pupae are formed hanging from the cage top, and the butterflies emerge in a little over a fortnight.

The butterflies can be kept in a cage for a few days, with plenty of flowers for nectar, and then released to help the wild populations. 

 

Keeping two species of larvae together on the same foodplant?  It is sometimes possible, but their way of life may differ and we recommend keeping them separately. 

 

 


£16.95