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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Brimstone rhamni 10 larvae SPECIAL PRICE!
Availability: May/June

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 £12.95
Citrus Swallowtail POT LUCK collection of 20 eggs
Availability: June

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, bianor, rumanzovia, aegeus, 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!

Peacock Butterfly Inachis io 20 larvae
Availability: NOW

Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io)

Take advantage of this good season and help native butterfly species. Have the fun of watching them develop, pupate and hatch. Then release the butterflies to enhance the local butterfly population.

The larvae live in tight clusters on the tips of 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.


EARLY Peacock Butterfly Inachis io 10 larvae
Availability: NOW

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. 



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.



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


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.



Silver-washed Fritillary paphia 10 larvae
Availability: Spring 2019

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.







Beckeri Marsh Fritillary Euodrydryas aurinia beckeri 10 larvae
Availability: May/June

Beckeri Marsh Fritillary Euodrydryas aurinia beckeri

This is the most magnificent form of the Marsh Fritillary – very large, boldly marked and the brightest colouring and pattern of all. Beckeri occurs in parts of Spain, Portugal and North Africa. This stock is from Portugal. The larvae feed on Honeysuckle, Snowberry, and some Knapweeds and Scabious. In the wild these hibernate. It may be possible to keep these warm and with longer day length to get them to develop and produce butterflies again this year. This has not yet been tried.


Brown Hairstreak betulae 3 mated females
Availability: July/August 2018

Brown Hairstreak Thecla betulae



You receive three live mated female Brown Hairstreaks. Set them up in a laying cage, with a potted Blackthorn bush, or cut twigs in water. Some breeders sleeve the females on a Blackthorn branch. Provide nectar or sugar pads to feed the butterflies. Store eggs for the winter in a cool place that is not totally lacking in moisture. The eggs are used to a cold, wet winter! The larvae hatch when the Blackthorn (Sloe) buds open.  Supplies are limited - first come first served.







Large Copper dispar batavus 10 larvae
Availability: From July

Large Copper Butterfly Lycaena dispar batavus  Larvae



Now MOST DIFFICULT TO OBTAIN!  This is a rare opportunity!  Spring orders have been supplied. We are now booking for summer brood larvae.


This is the large and richly coloured Large Copper which originated from Freisland in Holland and is almost indistinguishable from the extinct British Large Copper Lycaena dispar dispar. 


Common Dock is an acceptable foodplant, though if you have their natural foodplant Great Water Dock Rumex hydropathalum, that is even better. They can be reared in plastic boxes on fresh foodplant that is changed daily, but they do best, and are less trouble if you can pot up young fresh plants and keep the larvae on these, either in cages or covered with a sleeve. The larvae grow fast.


Pupae are formed on the stems or sides of the cage. The first sight of the newly emerged butterflies is absolutely breath-taking! July larvae may produce another partial brood if kept warm. Otherwise they go into hibernation.








White-letter Hairstreak Strymonidia w-album 10 eggs
Availability: Autumn/Winter 2018

White-letter Hairstreak Strymonidia w-album


Some eggs available immediately, for a short period. Very difficult to obtain.

Very seldom available. Winter is passed in the eggs stage.  Feed spring larvae on Elm and Wych Elm. Ideally sleeve outside, or pot foodplant to feed sleeved larvae indoors or outside. 

Wych Elm flower buds are breaking in early February, even in the north. These are sometimes on branches higher off the ground. Some even start as early as November in milder winters. Flowering trees need very little patience to search out.  

The larvae only require the buds to be “cracking open” for them to find a crevice to sit in and start burrowing further into the bud.