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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Peacock Butterfly Inachis io 20 larvae SPECIAL PRICE
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.

Young larvae should be started on growing nettle tips where they live in a tight cluster. 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. Below we suggest a possible alternative, but growing nettle is the strongly recommended rearing method.

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. 

 


 

£41.90 £29.95
Peacock Butterfly Inachis io 10 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.

Young larvae should be started on growing nettle tips where they live in a tight cluster. 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. Below we suggest a possible alternative, but growing nettle is the strongly recommended rearing method.

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. Rearing in a plastic container is only a temporary measure. Before the larvae become too large for the box, they should be kept in a cage, with the nettle kept fresh in a jar of water and changed daily. The pupae are formed hanging from the top of the cage and the foodplant. Even better is to sleeve the larvae on growing nettle. Be ready to move them to fresh food as soon as half the food supply has been eaten. Never leave moving the sleeve until most of the food has been consumed.

 


 

£19.95
Red Admiral atalanta 15 eggs/10 larvae according to availability
Availability: NOW


Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta 

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

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. 

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. The best way is to enclose pot and foodplant in a sleeve. The WWB zipped sleeves make this a very convenient rearing method.

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: Spring 2020


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. Otherwise you can sleeve Comma larvae on branches of Elm, Sallow and Willows, including Osier. Good ventilation is required. Cut food is not recommended at least until the larvae are nearly half grown. Comma larvae do not like crowding, and do best kept so that each caterpillar can get away and live on its own. Disease can occur if conditions are not perfect. If it does, it helps that the larvae live separately. Any infected or dead larvae should be removed and disinfection should be carried out, lightly spraying 10% bleach solution, which will not affect healthy larvae, but does help prevent the spread of disease.

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
Silver-washed Fritillary paphia 10 larvae to hibernate.
Availability: NOW


Silver-washed Fritillary Argynnis paphia

FIRST TIME OFFERED BY WWB!

Very hard to obtain!  Easy to hibernate!

In the wild eggs are laid on tree bark. The larvae enter hibernation on a silken pad, without feeding. Keep the hatched larvae out of doors in a small sleeve containing rough bark, which the larvae like to hibernate on. In captivity you can keep the larvae on dried leaf litter, or artificial media, such as cloth, netting, or paper storing them in a plastic box in a cool place, even a fridge, until January when they need to be on a pot of growing violet, entirely enclosed in a sleeve. The WWB zipped Size 3 is ideal. As the larvae grow, they need extra food - they can be quite hungry!

Our largest and finest Fritillary. Many people have never seen one. Follow the above suggestions and produce your own Silver-washed Fritillaries next summer!

Feed larvae in spring 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!

Pupae are formed in late spring, and the butterflies emerge in June and July.

 

 

 

High Brown Fritillary Fabriciana adippe 20 eggs
Availability: Autumn 2019


High Brown Fritillary Fabriciana adippe 20 eggs

A scarce species, difficult to obtain. Foodplant Violet leaves. These eggs will hibernate until mid to late winter, when you need to be ready with potted violet. Enclose the larvae on potted plants and protect from predators. Butterflies are produced next summer. 

VERY SPECIAL PRICE for a rare species!

 

£29.90 £12.95
Dark Green Fritillary aglaia 20 larvae
Availability: Autumn 2019


Dark Green Fritillary Mesoacidalia aglaia 

Best reared on potted Violet. These larvae are in hibernation. Keep the larvae in winter out of doors, in all weathers, protected amongst dead bramble and other leaves, amongst growing Violet. Cover with netting sleeve to exclude predators and to prevent escape.

SPECIAL PRICE for 20 larvae - half the normal!

£12.95
False Heath Fritillary Melitaea diamina 10 larvae
Availability: NOW


False Heath Fritillary Melitaea diamina

A relative of the Heath Fritillary and the larva feeds likewise on Cow Wheat and Narrow-leaved Plantain. Usually single brooded but might be double brooded in captivity and warmer climated. The larvae hibernate nested at the base of the foodplant. 

£20.95
Marsh Fritillary aurinia larvae  10 larvae
Availability: NOW


Marsh Fritillary Eurodryas aurinia 

Larvae are pupating. Please email to check availability before ordering. Thank you.

Larvae feed low amongst the leaves of Devil’s Bit Scabioius, but will also eat Honeysuckle. Honeysuckle starts leafing very early in the year, especially where sheltered in woodland. By February it is not diffficult to find enough foodplant to keep caterpillars well fed.  In captivity the larvae are recorded as accepting Ribwort Plantain Plantago lanceolata, Teasel Dipsacus and Snowberry Symphoricarpos.

Pre-hibernation larvae might be induced to develop and produce another generation with long day-length and sufficient warmth.

After waking in the spring the larvae grow fast, pupating in April and emerging as butterflies in May.

£12.95
Marsh Fritillary aurinia larvae  20 larvae SPECIAL PRICE
Availability: NOW


Marsh Fritillary Eurodryas aurinia 

SPECIAL PRICE FOR 20 Larvae!

Larvae feed low amongst the leaves of Devil’s Bit Scabioius, but will also eat Honeysuckle. Honeysuckle starts leafing very early in the year, especially where sheltered in woodland. By February it is not diffficult to find enough foodplant to keep caterpillars well fed.  In captivity the larvae are recorded as accepting Ribwort Plantain Plantago lanceolata, Teasel Dipsacus and Snowberry Symphoricarpos.

Pre-hibernation larvae might be induced to develop and produce another generation with long day-length and sufficient warmth.

After waking in the spring the larvae grow fast, pupating in April and emerging as butterflies in May.

£25.90 £16.50