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OSIER A wonderful foodplant. Ten cuttings
Availability: Autumn 2018


Osier Willow cuttings Salix viminalis

 

Next available from November.

 

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
Large White Pieris brassicae 10 larvae
Availability: NOW


Large White Butterfly Pieris brassicae

 

Just one lot of 10 larvae. Sold to the first customer to order.

 

No longer the common butterfly it once was. Winter pupae are stored cool for the winter and normally hatch in May.

 

This is a good species for the inexperienced, and as an introduction to rearing larvae.

 

The larvae feed on cabbage but also most Cruciferae which can be better and less smelly for captive rearing! Horseradish is ideal for its large leaves and other species include Rape, Mustard, Sweet Rocket, Turnip and Watercress.

 

There are two or more generations in a year.  


 

£12.95
European Swallowtail P.machaon gorganus 15 eggs/10 larvae
Availability: Summer 2018


European Swallowtail Papilio machaon gorganus 15 eggs/10 larvae according to availability

 

 

International orders are best sent by courier, See XXP on this website. Packets are delivered in 1-2 days instead of 1-2 weeks by post, which is a considerable risk.

 

Easy to rear on Fennel and other Umbelliferae, such as carrot tops, Parsnip and Wild Parsnip flowers and fresh leaves. Very attractive caterpillar, bright green, striped black and orange. Double brooded.

 

This species is not suitable for beginners and schools.

 

 

 

 

 

£12.95
American Black Swallowtail polyxenes asterias 10 Larvae
Availability: June 2018


American Black Swallowtail Papilio polyxenes asterias 10 larvae

 

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: Summer 2018



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 2018


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: NOW


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 Egg Batch
Availability: June 2018


Black-veined White Aporia crataegi Egg Batch

 

Egg batches (at least 30 eggs) will be available in May/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 2018


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 prepare with some bushes in advance.

 


£15.95
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.

 
 

£11.95
EARLY Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae 10 larvae
Availability: April


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
Peacock Butterfly Inachis io 10 larvae
Availability: July 2018


Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io)
 

In Britain there is only one generation of Peacock Butterfly, but in captivity more will be available in July.

The larvae live in tight clusters on the tips of growing nettle. When the larvae are larger, keep them caged on cut stems of nettle in a jar of water. Pupae are formed in a matter of weeks, hanging from the cage top. Butterflies emerge in about 3 weeks.  They can be kept for a few days in a cage with flowers for nectar, then released into the wild.

Peaock larvae need fresh nettle, growing if possible. 

If you wish to rear the larvae in plastic boxes, while they are small, they can be kept on a lining of absorbent paper, with a sizeable sprig of fresh, un-wilted nettle. The paper lining must be changed and fresh food given EVERY day (including weekends). Place the previous day’s food with larvae on the new paper liner, add a fresh and adequate sprig of nettle, and the larvae will transfer themselves to the new food. Give them entire nettle stems with leaves, not leaves alone. Close the lid and keep the box out of sunlight. The closed container keeps the foodplant fresh. No holes are needed because there is more than enough trapped air for larvae to breathe. Never allow excessive condensation, nor mould. The size of box should be chosen according to the size and number of larvae being reared. The size 5 box is large enough to house them once they have grown for a week or two. For smaller larvae the Size 8 is appropriate. When the larvae have become too large for the box, they can be kept in a cage, with the nettle kept fresh in a jar of water. The pupae are formed hanging from the top of the cage and the foodplant. 

 


 

£16.95