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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Silkworms Bombyx mori 60-80 Early Stage Silkworms
Availability: NOW

Silkworms Bombyx mori 60-80 Early Stage Silkworms 

Silkworms that are about a week old and will mature in about 3-4 weeks.

Remember that little silkworms will become large and hungry, so make sure you have ample Mulberry leaves or at least 200g of diet powder per 20 silkworms. 

Automeris dagmarae Bolivia 15 eggs
Availability: April/May

Automeris dagmarae Bolivia

Another large species for Automeris. Very fine moths and attractive larvae with branched spines. Eggs are expected in spring. Larvae feed on Bramble, Laurel, Evergreen Oak and other Oaks, Willows, Apple, Plum, Hawthorn and Beech. Most Automeris larvae feed on a wide variety of trees, so try others and add to the list of foodplants.

The larvae pupate amongst leaf litter. Two or more generations in a year.

Automeris frankae Costa Rica 15 eggs
Availability: Spring

Automeris frankae Costa Rica 

A large species for Automeris, never before offered by WWB. Eggs are expected this spring. The wonderful spined larvae feed on Bramble, Oaks, Beech and Willows. Undoubtedly other trees will be accepted.

Milk Parsley Peucedanum palustre  Packet of seed
Availability: NOW

Milk Parsley Peucedanum palustre  Packet of seed

The natural foodplant of the English Swallowtail butterfly, in its fenland habitat, and for Papilio machaon machaon, the nominate race in Sweden. This plant encourages egg-laying like no other, and is often the chosen foodplant of the European Papilio machaon gorganus in other parts of Europe,   

The leaves look a little like Carrot. This is a marsh plant that likes growing with its roots in water. Potted plants can be stood in a tray that is always full of water. Otherwise grow on the edge of a pond, or create a non-draining habitat around the roots.

Larvae from eggs laid on Milk Parsley can be changed to Fennel or other foodplants, in cases where there is not enough Milk Parsley to raise a host of hungry caterpillars. However, our Swedish breeder tells us that in that country, machaon does much better when fed only on Peucedanum.

Seeds sown in autumn are capable of producing plants large enough for egg-laying in the following summer.

Easily grown from seed, in a tray of peaty compost. Seed does not keep for many weeks, so don't store the seed: sow without delay.


Rearing Tower 76 x 76 x 90mm  Carton of 6
Availability: NOW

Rearing Tower 76 x 76 x 90mm  Carton of 6

New to the WWB range of Plastic Rearing Containers. This tall container has a deep lid and an even deeper base, forming a vertical tower rearing space, ideal  for observing and rearing larvae of all kinds, Stick Insects, Mantids and more.  Perfect also for displaying many Natural History items, such as minerals, fossils, dried plants and flowers, shells and anything requiring safe-keeping and providing clear vision of all sides. 

SILKWORMS Bombyx mori. 30 Established  Silkworms.
Availability: NOW

SILKWORMS Bombyx mori. 

Established Silkworms Bombyx mori available for the first time for years! These will spin their pure white silk cocoons within 2-3 weeks and emerge as moths after a similar period if kept at room temperature. These are sent feeding on artificial diet and if you wish to keep them like this, you can order a packet of powdered artificial diet that is used with water and heated in a microwave oven to produce a green cake on which the larvae live and feed.

Silkworms on diet are not only revolutionary for those who cannot get Mulberry leaves, but the daily care is also greatly reduced. You simply feed them by laying thin strips of food about once a day. On leaf, they need feeding several times a day, and spent food litter has to be removed. 

So you can rear Silkworms to cocoons now with the greatest of ease, and the least amount of daily care.

Please follow the instructions at the head of this section on Silkworm Eggs and Silkworms.

If you have access to a Mulberry tree, the silkworms can be reared on Mulberry leaves. Mulberry trees are sometimes found in the grounds of large country houses and old parsonage houses. You can buy Mulberry trees from a nursery and any Morus species can be used, but the silkworms eat a lot, so you will need to grow a tree on for some years before the leaves can be used. This is why the artificial diet is so useful!

Now anyone can rear Silkworms even if you don't have a Mulberry tree or live somewhere that has no access to trees for foodplant.

Keeping silkworms is very easy as long as some procedure is observed. They do not need a cage – just a tray, kept in a warm place (about 25 degrees C). 

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,  if you winter prune very hard, you will have perhaps 2 metres of growth on every branch, providing masses 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!  

KOKUSO 21 Mulberry A group of 5 robust cuttings.
Availability: NOW

KOKUSO 21 Mulberry A rarity! A group of 5 robust cuttings.

This sericultural form of Mulberry has been developed in Asia for its large leaves with high nutrition as food for Silkworms. Not generally available for sale, we are offering a limited number of robust cuttings in groups of 5. 

The cuttings will develop roots and leaves if put into compost, preferably with manure. Never let the compost dry. Rooting may be assisted if dipped in hormone rooting powder. Mulberry cuttings take longer to root than Willows and Osiers, which are very rapid. Hard winter pruning is repaid with amazing growth, which can reach 1-2 metres on every branch in the following summer.

This is a rare shrub, seldom seen in Northern Europe.

Prepared Mulberry Diet  1 Kilogramme
Availability: NOW

Prepared Mulberry Diet  1 Kilogramme

This diet has been prepared from Diet Powder and is ready to feed to silkworms immediately. Keep refrigerated when not in use. It will keep for about a month.  

Ringlet Butterfly Aphantopus hyperanthus 15 eggs
Availability: July

Ringlet Butterfly Aphantopus hyperanthus

A species of meadows, especially damp places. Eggs are laid in July. The larvae hibernate deep in the grasses. In spring they resume feeding. Keep larvae on a good tussock of potted grass, totally enclosed with a size 3 sleeve This is the first time offered by WWB! 

Great Water Dock Rumex hydropathalum Seeds. Foodplant of the Large Copper Butterfly
Availability: NOW

Great Water Dock Rumex hydropathalum Seeds. Foodplant of the Large Copper Butterfly

Seldom available. Sow in autumn or from February. Seed germinates and grows well in Spring, producing plants with broad leaves and often growing to over a metre in height.

In the wild Great Water Dock lives at the water's edge, with its roots continually immersed. If growing in pots, keep them in a tray with no holes, and always filled with water.

Owl Butterfly Caligo species 10 larvae
Availability: NOW

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.