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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
EARLY Peacock Butterfly Inachis io 10 larvae
Availability: May 2018


EARLY Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io)
 

Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell populations are seriously depleted recently, due to the butterflies waking in the mild winter and dying of starvation. This is a a chance to help local Peacock populations.

The larvae live in tight clusters on the tips of nettle. Young larvae do best on potted nettle.  Keep the pots outside until needed indoors for the first larvae. 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.

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
Red Admiral atalanta 15 eggs/10 larvae
Availability: Summer 2018


Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta 15 eggs or 10 larvae according to availability

 

This is not a species for a beginner. Eggs are so small that a lens is needed to see them. If sent as larvae, they are usually tiny, before they start making leaf-tents. This is no problem for an experienced breeder, but is not as easy to look after as larvae that arrive at a visible size or as a cluster.

The larvae are solitary and make a nettle leaf into a tent. Inside the leaf tent the larva develops quickly in warm weather, sometimes moving to a bigger tent.  The final shelter is where the larva hangs up and pupates. The butterflies will emerge this year.  If you can keep them on growing foodplant, either potted or sleeved outside, this is the best way to accommodate their need for fresh food as a shelter.

 Larvae are too small  to be put into a cage or aquarium. They are best reared on growing foodplant, enclosed in a sleeve.

 

 

 

 

£14.95
Painted Lady cardui  5 larvae in Pot on Diet
Availability: NOW


Five Painted Lady larvae in Total Environment Pot

 

Ready immediately! (except that there will be no dispatches from 1-8 April)

 

The five Painted Lady caterpillars live their whole life inside the see-through pot which contains all they need from birth to pupating. You need add no food. You don’t even clean them out and they look after themselves over weekends!

 

The larvae grow quite quickly in summer indoor conditions (never keep them in direct sunshine).  The container is easily passed round a group without disturbance to the larvae.

During skin change the larvae do not move or eat This may last a day or two.

 

Don't be alarmed by this: it is a natural stage in their development.

 

When the larvae have finished eating, they suspend themselves from a silk pad spun on special absorbent paper in the lid. Here they cast their caterpillar skin.  If you are lucky and look at the right moment you can see the actual moment of change from caterpillar to chrysalis.

 

Let the chrysalis harden for a couple of days, then hang the paper pinned inside a cage for the butterflies to emerge.

 
You can keep the butterflies for a few days in a cage with nectar flowers. Then, except in the colder months October to March, release them into the wild where they may breed naturally in your area. Please keep the larvae and pupae in an even room temperature (around 18-22º) day and night. Keep away from direct sunlight or a direct heat source such as a radiator.

The instructions are printed above - please note them for the arrival of the larvae which are not sent with further instructions. If you are sending larvae as a present, please remember the recipient will not have these instructions, unless you copy them to the recipient.

 

Can be ordered in advance. During the season there may be a delay of a couple of weeks or more if larvae are not currently at the size for sending. 


One pot of 5 Painted Lady caterpillars £13.95         Six pots of 5 Painted Lady caterpillars for group study (one supplied free!) for only £69.75

 

Painted Lady cardui 10 larvae
Availability: NOW


Painted Lady Vanessa cardui

 

 

Orders to be sent internationally will be sent feeding on diet instead of leaf. This means they travel better in the journey by post, and they can be changed to leaf on arrival.

 

The Painted Lady butterfly occurs in more continents of the world than any other butterfly. The larvae are easy to rear on Thistle (its preferred food plant), Burdock, Stinging Nettle, Mallow, Hollyhock and will often take other foodplants. An ideal species for schools.

Each larva lives solitarily from birth. It spins a protective silk cover, living at first off the leaf cuticle. When possible, keep the larvae on a growing foodplant, which enables the caterpillar to make its silk cover, and move on to fresh food when it requires. If kept on cut food, please ensure that the plant is kept fresh and changed before the quality of the food suffers. This of course applies to all species, but the method has to take into account the solitary habit of the larva, and its protective silk.

 

Depending on temperature, the larvae pupate in a little over a month. Butterflies emerge in 2-3 weeks. The cycle continues throughout summer and several broods are possible in a season.

 

The butterflies can be kept with nectar flowers for some days, and then except in the colder months October to March, released to breed in the wild.

 

There may be a delay of a couple of weeks if larvae are not at the right size for sending. Can be ordered immediately.

Larvae are often quite small when sent. Too small  to be put into a cage or aquarium. They are best reared on growing foodplant, enclosed in a sleeve. Alternatively keep in a plastic box, lined with absorbent paper, and changed daily. For details see the All Colour Paperback BUTTERFLIES.

 

 

£12.95
Comma larvae c-album 10 larvae
Availability: NOW


Comma Butterfly Polygonia c-album   

 

Fascinating larvae with curious half and half markings in black, brown and white, mimicking a bird dropping. The larvae feed on Stinging Nettle, Elm and Hop. Also Sallow, Osier Willow Salix viminalis, and sometimes other Willows. They live singly. Fast growing.

 

Young larvae will succeed best if placed on growing foodplant. Enclose plant and pot in a netting sleeve, tied at both ends: size 3 is ideal. Cut food is not recommended at least until the larvae are nearly half grown. This garden butterfly is capable of re-colonising places where it used to be. In autumn the butterflies are very partial to fallen fruit. With some help this butterfly could be encouraged to spread.

 

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.  Comma larvae live solitary lives and should be reared in their own enclosure.

 

 



 

 

 

£12.95
Queen of Spain Fritillary lathonia 10 Larvae
Availability: Spring


Queen of Spain Fritillary Issoria lathonia Larvae

 

The silver spangles on the underside of this Fritillary surpass all other species!  A medium-sized Fritillary that is very easy to rear on Pansy leaves and flowers. It is best to have potted food which is available from garden shops. The easiest method is to enclose the potted plant entirely within a netting sleeve. A sleeve with zip access is most convenient. Please ensure that the plants have not been treated with insecticide at any time. 

 

Larvae will produce butterflies this year if kept warm indoors.

 



 

£12.95
Silver-washed Fritillary paphia 10 larvae
Availability: NOW


Silver-washed Fritillary Argynnis paphia

 

Post-hibernation larvae, feeding well and growing, to pupate in late spring and produce butterflies this season.

 

Feed on Violet or Pansy leaves – best kept on potted food.  Make sure that, if you buy potted foodplant, there had been no insecticide used  to produce them!

 

Keep hibernating larvae in leaf litter, in a plastic box in a very cool place for the winter. They wake in January/February and then need to be enclosed inside a sleeve, on potted violet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

£16.95
Scarce Fritillary Hypodryas maturna 10 larvae
Availability: Autumn 2018


Scarce Fritillary Hypodryas maturna

Hibernating larvae being sent out NOW. Keep sleeved outside amongst a ball of dry fallen leaves. This is a RARE opportunity!

We are very pleased to be able to offer larvae of this scarce and interesting relative of the Marsh Fritillary. It is an arboreal species, frequenting woodland. The larvae particularly favour feeding on Ash and Aspen, as well as feeding on Honeysuckle and Scabious. There are some isolated colonies in France and Sweden, but most are found in extreme Eastern Europe and eastwards towards Siberia. Winter larvae can be hibernated in sleeves.

 

 

£16.00
High Brown Fritillary Fabriciana adippe 10 spring larvae
Availability: NOW


High Brown Fritillary Fabriciana adippe 10 spring larvae

A scarce species, difficult to obtain. Foodplant Violet leaves. Enclose the larvae on potted plants and protect from predators. A Size 3 sleeve is ideal. Butterflies are produced this summer. 

VERY SPECIAL PRICE for a rare species!

 

£29.90 £12.95
High Brown Fritillary Fabriciana adippe 50 spring larvae SPECIAL REDUCTION
Availability: NOW


High Brown Fritillary Fabriciana adippe 

VERY SPECIAL PRICE for a rare species!

Succesful breeding last season, and good hibernating conditions enable us to offer these rare larvae at a special quantity price for those who would like to have larger numbers for study and conservation.  This is a grate opportunity!

A scarce species, difficult to obtain. Foodplant Violet leaves. Enclose the larvae on potted plants and protect from predators. A Size 3 sleeve is ideal. Butterflies are produced this summer. 

 

£149.50 £45.95
Dark Green Fritillary aglaia 50 larvae
Availability: NOW


Dark Green Fritillary Mesoacidalia aglaia

 

Best reared on potted Violet. These autumn larvae are for hibernation, protected on their pots of foodplant.

 

 

£64.75 £45.00