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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Small Purple Emperor Apatura ilia 5 larvae
Availability: NOW


Small Purple Emperor Apatura ilia
Rather similar to Apatura iris,  but a little smaller.  The form clytie has a delightful orange flush to a greater or lesser degree, on most specimens.

These larvae, which feed on Poplars and Aspen, will hibernate.  Sleeving is the recommended rearing method. They need little other attention other than ensuring they have sufficient fresh foodplant.

In spring the larvae grow and the pupae will be formed in the sleeve, dramatically camouflaged amongst the foliage.

 

 

£29.95
Chalkhill Blue Lysandra coridon 15 eggs
Availability: NOW


Chalkhill Blue Lysandra coridon

Store eggs in a plastic box in the fridge until April. In late February place the eggs on a potted plant of Horseshoe vetch and enclose both plant and pot in a sleeve. Keep outside, as they are used to survival in all weathers. 

Wonderful larvae, marked with yellow and green to melt into a flowering patch of Horseshoe Vetch.  As they grow the larvae are most striking and unusual.

The foodplants are Horseshoe Vetch Hippocrepis comosa and Crown Vetch Coronilla. These are specialised foodplants that occur on chalk and limestone. Please ensure you have access to foodplant when you order.

 The larvae will pupate and produce butterflies this summer.

£15.50
Duke of Burgundy Fritillary lucina 10 Larvae
Availability: June.


Duke of Burgundy Fritillary Hamearis lucina

 It is years since we have had Duke of Burgundy larvae. Now very hard to obtain. 

Curious oval larvae like those of the Blues, but not green like those, more a straw colour, with rows of black dots. They live on Primrose or Polyanthus leaves.

Not difficult to rear on a potted plant. Resulting pupae have similar colouring and pattern. Store the pupae in a fridge until May when the delightful butterflies emerge.

 

£28.50 £19.50
Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas 10 larvae
Availability: July/August


Small Copper Butterfly Lycaena phlaeas

 The larvae feed on common Dock and Sorrel. If kept warm they may pupate and produce butterflies before winter.  In nature the larvae hibernate deep in plant litter. To hibernate the larvae, keep on a potted foodplant, completely enclosing plant and pot in a sleeve, and keep out of doors in all weathers.

 

£12.50
Common Blue icarus 15 eggs or 10 larvae according to availability
Availability: New orders 2024


The Common Blue Polyommatus icarus

 This Blue is probably the most wide-spread of all the Blues.  The bright sky-blue of the male is familiar to most people. The larvae feed on Birdsfoot Trefoil, Medick, Rest Harrow and other Leguminosae.

The larvae are very small. If you are not an experienced breeder it would be better to choose one of the easier species to rear.

 

£12.50
Silver-studded Blue Plebejus argus 15 eggs
Availability: NOW


Silver-studded Blue Plebejus argus

Hibernating eggs of the Silver-studded Blue. Store in a cool place for the winter.  The larvae are oval and live often concealed amongst the foodplant. These larvae feed on vetches, Sanfoin, and trefoils.

 
 

£15.95
Silver-spotted Skipper Hesperia comma 15 eggs
Availability: NOW


Silver-spotted Skipper Hesperia comma

Fifteen eggs of this scarce Skipper butterfly. Store the eggs cold until February. Then transfer to a pot of coarse grass. Pot and plant totally enclosed in a sleeve.

Keep the larvae on potted coarse grasses, covered with the sleeve to prevent straying and predation. Sheep's Fescue grass is particularly good. The larva uses silk to construct a shelter, by sewing together the edges of a grass blade, The larvae hibernate on the potted food, which is best kept outside. In spring the larvae resume feeding, pupate and produce adults in early summer.

£20.00
Deathshead Hawk Atropos 15 Eggs or 10 larvae according to availability
Availability: Early 2024


Deathshead Hawkmoth Acheronia atropos  

For international destinations larvae will be sent because eggs develop too quickly in warm weather.

Everyone’s favourite. In a massive operation most booked orders have now been supplied, and we can now supply new orders. An extreme rarity, migrating to Britain from Africa. Occasionally the larvae are found in potato fields but that’s if you are lucky and these days with modern machinery the chances of larvae being found are even more remote. Due to travel restrictions there is a world shortage of Deathshead in captivity, but our breeders now have superb wild stock, which is being very productive. Orders for pupae will be supplied this summer, as well as eggs and larvae now.

The larvae feed on many plants in the potato family, Solanaceae, but you don’t have to have these to keep the larvae: they do well on Privet. They have also been found feeding on Buddleia, resulting in a pale coloured larva that matches the leaves, but this is not a recommended foodplant.

The duration of the egg stage is just a few days, and the larvae grow probably twice as fast as our native hawkmoth larvae, completing their life cycle in as little as 4-6 weeks in summer temperatures. These larvae will produce another generation of moths within weeks of pupation, but you can keep them cool in the winter months, and have them emerge in spring. 

The moth is just amazing to have alive on your hand! It is furry, and squeaks – almost like handling a little mammal. It also humps its back and displays the blue markings on the body, as well as the famous skull and crossbones on the thorax. The moth needs to feed, not from flowers but from a pad soaked in weak honey or sugar solution. Moths have been found inside beehives, attracted by the sweet smell of honey. 

In summer, the pupae will emerge within about 4 weeks.  In autumn, to overwinter, bury the pupae in light compost that is not too damp but not allowed to dry out. The top of each pupa should be just showing. Store in a cool place (10-15 degrees C) away from predadors. Bring into the warm in April ready for May emergence. 
 

£19.95
Geranium Bronze Butterfly Cacyreus marshalli 10 larvae
Availability: NOW


Geranium Bronze Butterfly Cacyreus marshalli 

A South African Lycaenid, a tailed Blue, the first time offered by WWB. The larvae feed on Geranium and Pelargonium, wild and cultivated, mainly in the flower buds but also the leaves.  The species first appeared in Europe around 1990 and has spread around much of the Mediterranean, but also found in summer further north. There is apparently no dormant stage, but it is considered that it cannot survive in the wild in places where the winter is cold. This is an opportunity to try a new species and learn more about it.

£14.95
Poplar Hawk Laothoe populi 15 eggs or 10 larvae according to availability.
Availability: May/June


Poplar Hawkmoth Laothoe populi 

Fast growing, the larvae feed on most Willows and Poplars. They do well in sleeves or caged.

This is one of the few hawkmoths that produce two broods of moths in the year.

The larvae become very fat and vary in both the ground colour, in shades of green or blue/green, and in their markings which often include red spots as well as the oblique stripes down the sides.

The larvae need to burrow into compost for pupation.

 

£12.95
Willowherb Hawkmoth Proserpinus proserpina Pupae
Availability: NOW



Willowherb Hawkmoth Proserpinus proserpina

SCARCE! Only a few pupae available. 

This rather rare Hawkmoth is a gem, seldom encountered, though it lives throughout much of western and central Europe, eastwards into Russia.  

The larva is rather like a grey form of Small Elephant Hawk. The foodplant is Rosebay Willowherb Epilobium, Evening Primrose Oenothera and Purple Loosetrife Lythrum. The pretty little green moth has prominent egg-yolk coloured hindwings.  The normal flight period is June and July.

Broad-bordered Bee Hawk fuciformis larvae
Availability: June 2024


Broad-bordered Bee Hawk  Hemaris  fuciformis Larvae

 

A very difficult species to obtain as eggs and larvae. Sent out in June, supplies will be limited. Larval foodplant is Honeysuckle. Not difficult to rear. Hibernation is in the pupal stage. The moth emerges with a thin layer of grey scales on the wings. Remarkably, on its first flight, the scales are shed, leaving transparent bee-like wings.

 

 

£16.95