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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Purple Emperor Apatura iris 5 larvae
Availability: October 2021

Purple Emperor Apatura iris

This magnificent species has not been available for several years. This year we are expecting young larvae pre-hibernation. Booked orders will be supplied first.

The foodplant, Sallow Salix caprea  is best kept as a growing shrub, either potted or growing outside.  The young larvae should be kept in a sleeve where they will hibernate, but with some extra warmth, when it is still summer, some may be persuaded to feed up and produce butterflies this year. Orders will be supplied in date seqence.

Larvae are sent at pre-hibernation state, September/October. To hibernate, keep the larvae sleeved on Sallow, outside in all weathers, which they survive naturally in the wild. 



Chalkhill Blue Lysandra coridon 15 eggs
Availability: Autumn

Chalkhill Blue Lysandra coridon

Store winter 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.

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.


Adonis Blue bellargus 10 larvae
Availability: Summer

The Adonis Blue Lysandra bellargus

 The intense blue iridescence of the male is unmatched in Europe. The female has a rich burnt umber colouring.  To raise the larvae you need Horseshoe vetch Hippocrepis comosa, a low-growing plant, covered with yellow flowers in May, requiring calcareous soil.  The larvae, which will also feed on Coronilla, feed rapidly and pupate among the base of the foodplant.  In Britain the Adonis is double brooded, the adults flying in June and August.

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.

White-letter Hairstreak Strymonidia w-album 15 eggs
Availability: Late summer

White-letter Hairstreak Strymonidia w-album

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.

Silver-spotted Skipper Hesperia comma 15 eggs
Availability: New orders: winter 2021

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.

Silver-striped Hawkmoth Hippotion celerio 15 eggs/10 larvae
Availability: Autumn

SIlver-striped Hawkmoth Hippotion celerio 15 eggs or 10 larvae according to  availability.

Hardly ever do we have livestock of this rare migrant. The larvae have realistic eye-spots, and they come in shades of green and brown. They feed well on Fuchsia, Virginia Creeper and the common creeper Boston Ivy, but also a wide variety of other plants, many un-related. These are some recorded foodplants: Grape Vine, Parthenocissus, Willowherb, Impatiens, Mullein, Lilac, Dock, Sorrel, Begonia, Arum, Caladium, Bedstraw, Zantedeschia.

Fast growing if kept warm. They sometimes take little more than a month before pupation. Moths will emerge again this year and may produce multi generations. 




Canadian Eyed Hawk Smerinthus cerisyi 15 eggs or 10 larvae according to availability
Availability: Spring

Canadian Eyed Hawk Smerinthus cerisyi

A species from the New World with interesting differences from our own Eyed Hawk. The larvae feed on Willows, Sallows and Apple. Fast growing.  For something different give these a try. This species breeds easily and is a joy to rear. Larvae do well sleeved.

Small Eyed Sphinx Paonias myops North America 15 eggs
Availability: NOW

Small Eyed Sphinx Paonias myops North America

The first time offered on the WWB website. Something quite different and highly recommended. 

The Small Eyed Sphinx is not a Smerinthus and the larvae are more found on Prunus trees than on Salix. These are some of the recorded foodplants: Most Prunus, including Cherry, Plum, Laurel, Lilac, Privet, Lime, Willows and Sallows and even Grapevine.

The larva has characteristics of our Poplar and Eyed Hawks. The moth is much smaller than other Eyed Hawks, and has wonderfully camouflaged forewings. This 

Poplar Hawk Laothoe populi 15 eggs
Availability: NOW

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.


Lime Hawk tiliae 15 eggs
Availability: NOW

Lime Hawkmoth Mimas tiliae 

Extremely easy to rear on Lime or Elm. Other reported foodplants include Cherry, Alder, Birch, Oak, Hazel, Acer including Sycamore, Sorbus, Apple, Pear and Ash! In autumn the larvae will grow faster if kept warm.

The larvae do particularly well sleeved on growing foodplant but can be kept in plastic boxes or cages. Beautiful streamlined larvae. Larger larvae are often heavily marked with flame and scarlet spots and blotches. Very variable. They pupate underground. In captivity they will pupate amongst folds of cloth or absorbent tissue. Store pupae refrigerated for the winter. The moths normally emerge in May/June.


Great American Poplar Hawk modesta 15 eggs or 10 larvae according to availability.
Availability: Spring

American Great Poplar Hawk Pachysphinx modesta 

This Hawkmoth is like a very large and stocky Poplar Hawk, with very bold pattern and colouring. The larva is very large and has some interesting differences, and feeds on Poplars, probably Willows also. Try this fascinating and very large relative of our Poplar Hawk.