Current EGGS and LARVAE

If you are a beginner and need information on rearing from small caterpillars, or hatching out pupae, please order the All Colour Paperback BUTTERFLIES. INSTRUCTIONS ARE NOT SENT WITH EACH SPECIES, you need to acquire basic skills and this book is a simple way of doing so.

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Owl Butterfly Caligo species 10 larvae
Availability: July


Owl Butterfly Caligo South America

 

Magnificent and huge butterflies. Usually Caligo memnon or eurylochus. The larvae are fast-growing and eat quite a lot!

 

The natural food is leaves of the Banana tree, but they have been recorded as accepting leaves of Canna, Calathea, Strelitzia and even Bamboo, but they may not always accept Bamboo, or thrive as well on it.

£12.95
DUO Small Tortoiseshell urticae and Comma Butterfly c-album. Ten larvae of each.
Availability: NOW


DUO Small Tortoiseshell and Comma Butterfly. Ten larvae of each. 

Both species feed on Stinging Nettle. Help encourage these butterflies which are suffering terribly at the moment.

Comma larvae live solitarily and best kept separate from Tortoiseshell which are gregarious. Young Comma 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. Comma also do well on Elm, Hop, Osier Willow, and probably other Willows.

£25.00
OSIER A wonderful foodplant. Ten cuttings
Availability: NOW


Osier Willow cuttings S. 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
Owl Butterfly Caligo species 15 eggs
Availability: July


Owl Butterfly Caligo species

The eggs are large and spherical, white or translucent. Incubation period depends on temperature and humidity. The larvae are long and thin and live along the veins and mid-rib of the foodplant.

The natural food is leaves of the Banana tree, but they have been recorded as accepting leaves of Canna, Calathea, Strelitzia and even Bamboo, but they may not always accept Bamboo, or thrive as well on it.

£12.95
DUO Peacock Inachis io and Comma c-album 10 larvae of each
Availability: NOW


DUO Peacock Vanessa io and Comma c-album 10 larvae of each

Sending larvae in summer by post to any European country south of Scandinavia is too risky. Please see XXP on this website for express courier which ensures delivery in 1-2 days.

Peacock larvae cluster on Nettle tips. Comma larvae are solitary and spread out on the Nettle plant. Comma larvae live solitarily and best kept separate from Tortoiseshell which are gregarious. Young Comma 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. Comma also do well on Elm, Hop, Osier Willow, and probably other Willows.

The foodplant must always be fresh. When caging, cut foodplant stems need to be in water, or on growing plant. These will both pupate in June/July and produce adult butterflies 2-3 weeks later. Development time is dependent on temperature. Keep them warm and they will mature fast.

£22.50
Complete MINI SILK FARM
Availability: NOW


THE MINI SILK FARM

TEMPORARY PROMOTION PRICE!

A complete outfit for rearing silkworms from egg to cocoon, and reeling your own raw silk. Everything is provided: a small batch of eggs, food for the entire life of 20 silkworms, all the rearing equipment, detailed educational documentation and instructions, and a miniature reeling device.

There is even a small bag of cocoons so that you can practise reeling, and don't have to wait to rear the cocoons from the egg.

Normally Silkworms feed on Mulberry leaves. This is an uncommon tree that is not always readily available, so we are providing a substitute food, which is a powder that comes with the necessary instructions for preparing the artificial diet in the kitchen. You will have a supply of fresh food always available for the silkworms throughout their life of about a month.

The Mini Silk Farm can be bought at any time of the year. The eggs are stored in a fridge until incubation. Although rearing in summer is easier because of temperature, you can rear silkworms almost throughout the year, if you can keep them at about 25º-28ºC. Eggs supplied in winter will need to be refrigerated for 8-12 weeks before incubation.

The instructions guide you through easy rearing, preparation of the artificial diet and the reeling process. The Mini Silk Farm is fun and unusually educational.

£59.50 £39.50
Artificial Mulberry Diet for 20 Silkworms
Availability: NOW


Artificial Mulberry Diet for 20 Silkworms

Until now it has not been possible to rear silkworms without their natural foodplant Mulberry. Mulberry is often difficult to find but we are now able to offer a very convenient artificial diet that can be used as a substitute food, in any part of the world and at almost any time of the year, providing you can keep the silkworms at 25-28 degrees C. Eggs supplied in November/December will need to be refrigerated for 8-12 weeks before incubation.

The diet is sent as a sachet of powder that is easily prepared in the kitchen. It comes in two sizes that give sufficient food for the entire life of the silkworms, enough for 20 and 50 Silkworms. The powder can be kept for a year or more in a fridge. Made up diet can be refrigerated and kept for some eight weeks. The life of a silkworm kept at the required temperature is about 5 weeks. (If you buy a collection of 6 named races please remember you need food for 6 times the number of eggs bought)

Artificial diet takes a lot less time and trouble than rearing on leaf.  More importantly this enables rearing when Mulberry cannot be obtained. Eggs supplied in November - January will need to be refrigerated for 8-12 weeks before incubation. Rearing Silkworms is very educational and suitable for schools and families.

£10.00
European Swallowtail P.machaon gorganus 15 eggs or 10 larvae according to availability
Availability: July


European Swallowtail Papilio machaon gorganus 

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 15 eggs or 10 Larvae according to availability.
Availability: September


American Black Swallowtail Papilio polyxenes asterias 

Supplies are limited. When sold we will try to obtain more, so orders will be booked to be supplied later in July/August.

We hardly ever have eggs available. There are some ready immediately.

It is immediately evident from looking at this striking black swallowtail 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 one.

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
Duo Peacock Butterfly Inachis io and Small Tortoiseshell urticae 10 larvae of each
Availability: NOW


Duo Peacock Butterfly Inachis io and Small Tortoiseshell urticae 10 larvae of each
 

 

Ten larvae each of the Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock Butterfly.  Both feed on Stinging Nettle. Young larvae should be kept on growing foodplant, covered with a netting sleeve, or reared in plastic rearing containers, cleaned out and fed daily as shown in the All Colour Paperback BUTTERFLIES. When larger, the larvae can be caged with cut nettle in a jar or water, on on potted growing foodplant.

 

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. 

 


£27.95 £24.95
SILKWORM EGGS Bombyx mori  WHITE variety
Availability: NOW


SILKWORM EGGS Bombyx mori  WHITE COCOONS

 

 

White larvae, producing attractive pure white cocoons. Silkworms require Mulberry leaf, or artificial diet.

 

 

Instructions are not sent with the eggs but they are given at the head of the Silk section. Click on silk near the bottom of the Main Menu (top left of the screen)

 

In winter orders will be booked for supply in the spring.  The best rearing season is May to October. Eggs supplied from October onwards are for hatching in the following year.  Although there are reports of using other foodplants, the only satisfactory food plant for silkworms is Mulberry.  This is sometimes found in the gardens of large houses and old parsonages. Mulberry trees are available from larger nurseries. Any Morus species is suitable: White, Black or any other Mulberry. The larvae eat a lot, so make sure you have a good supply of leaves.

 

NOW YOU CAN REAR SILKWORMS EVEN IF YOU HAVE NO MULBERRY! There are sachets of artificial diet that you make up in the kitchen. Each sachet is the amount needed to rear 20 silkworms throughout their life.

 

Pyjama Mini Cage 22 x 29 x 25cm high
Availability: NOW


Pyjama Mini Cage 22 x 29 x 25cm high

This popular cage has just got even better. Nearly a third larger, and much improved dimensions.

Ideal as a beginner's cage, but also for the busy breeder who wants separate small cages. Excellent as an emerging cage for chrysalides and cocoons, ideal for keeping small numbers of larvae or other insects, when large enough for cage rearing.

This cage is suitable for laying out small numbers of pupae to emerge. Also for rearing smaller numbers of larvae or smaller larvae. Baby larvae should be first reared in plastic rearing containers or kept covered on growing food. Please see the note on the page for plastic rearing containers. This cage will hold small covered pots of plant, and larger sizes of cage are available for larger subjects.

When necessary the netting cover can be slipped off for cleaning or replacement. The Pyjama Mini cage is assembled in minutes and easily packed flat for winter storage. As the interest grows there are larger sizes available. For the experienced breeder the Mini Cage has many uses where a series of smaller cages is needed for separating species and giving different treatment.

 

 

£22.95