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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Garden Tiger caja Woolly Bears  MEDIUM to LARGE larvae SPECIAL PRICE!
Availability: NOW


Garden Tiger Moth Arctia caja  

These are medium to large larvae - hardly ever offered, and only for a short time.

Garden Tiger larvae Woolly Bears  grow fast on Dock, Dandelion, Dead Nettle, Nettle and many other hedgerow plants, also Pussy Willow Salix caprea and Osier Willow Salix viminalis.  You can also feed them conveniently on Cabbage.

Now a most difficult species to obtain.

These are spring and summer larvae.  In the wild, late summer larvae would hibernate, but if you keep them warm and light, many will produce another generation this year.

If you wish to hibernate Wooly Bears, sleeve them in autumn on Willow or Sallow (Pussy Willow). The falling leaves curl to form a ventilated ball in which the larvae hibernate. If all goes well in winter the larvae emerge in spring and feed from the new spring leaves.

 

Cinnabar Moth Hipocrita jacobaeae 15 larvae
Availability: June/July


Cinnabar Moth Hipocrita jacobaeae

Once an extremely common British Moth, less common over most of Europe, but over the last 10 years there has been a marked decline in numbers. The summer of 2016 brought a reversal of this decline and we can help this species back from danger of disappearing.

The larvae feed on Groundsel and Ragwort Senecio. The larvae are ringed in bright orange and black, nature's warning colours, and they absorb chemicals from the foodplant that adversely affect predators who ignore the warning. Ragwort is a mis-understood plant that provides an abundance of nectar to bees, butterflies and other insects. There is evidence that Ragwort plants that are pulled up and left to dry, can be detrimental to cattle and horses if they eat the dried plants. Animals can be seen grazing safely in fields containing growing green plants. There is nothing to be gained from pulling up Ragwort plants, because they are biennials that flower and die in the same year. So a patch of Ragwort can provide valuable nectar to thousands of wild insects, and be host to Cinnabar larvae and, job completed, it dies at the end of summer. 

The Cinnabar moth flies by day, more than by night, and is protected from predators, by the very striking colours of charcoal and scarlet, and bitter-tasting chemicals derived from the larval foodplant, enabling the moth to display its bright colours, yet not be attacked by predators. 

Cinnabar larvae can be raised in sleeves on growing Ragwort. We find the sleeves fitted with a zip are particularly successful. When the larvae are large, if you put in the sleeve several handfuls of springy wood shavings or dried leaf litter, they will form thin silken cocoons in which to pupate.

Could you help to spread this colourful day-flying moth again in your area?

Store pupae cool for the winter, even in a fridge, loose in a plastic box, without any padding.  In May lay them out in an emerging cage and wait for the moths to emerge.

 

£12.95
Scarlet Tiger Moth dominula 100 eggs SPECIAL PRICE!
Availability: NOW


Scarlet Tiger Panaxia dominula

BREEDING HAS BEEN MOST SUCCESSFUL this summer. There is a special price for 100 eggs.

We suggest keeping newly-hatched larvae in a soft paper-lined size 7 plastic box on a fresh leaf of Sallow or Plum. These leaves are suggested because of their keeping qualities. The larvae quickly perforate the leaf which must be changed daily. When changing the leaf, the larvae readily drop off and curl up, before scattering, which gives the opportunity to make the change. But be quick! As the larvae grow they can be moved to a larger plastic box, for further growth before sleeving either on a potted foodplant (enclose the pot and plant), or on a branch of Plum or Sallow Salix caprea.

The larvae feed on Dead Nettle, Stinging Nettle, Willow, Sallow, Bramble, Sloe and Plum. They especially like Comfrey and Borage. They often browse on other hedgerow plants. Whilst, in the wild, these larvae would hibernate, if you keep them warm and well-fed, in captivity a second brood may be possible.

Pupation is amongst litter at the base of the foodplant and the magnificent day-flying moths emerge in June. Pairing is easy. Eggs are laid loose in the herbage and the tiny larvae feed for a while before hibernation at the base of the foodplant.
 

Hibernation in captivity can be achieved by sleeving the young larvae on a branch of Salix, Willow or Sallow, Sloe or Plum. The accumulation of autumn leaves makes an ideal environment for the hibernating larvae which re-appear when the buds begin to open in March. In nature eggs are scattered loose amongst the foliage that the larvae like to feed on. The young larvae feed and grow for some weeks before hibernating deep in the base of ground foliage. In spring they resume feeding - their spectacular yellow and black patterning making a striking site on green foliage.

Scarlet Tigers fly by day - a wonderful sight on a sunny June day.  In spring the colourful caterpillars are a joy to rear and very easy on potted foodplant.

£85.00 £35.00
Puss Moth vinula 10 larvae SPECIAL PRICE!
Availability: NOW


Puss Moth Cerura vinula 

An ideal beginner's species and an old favourite for the connoisseur. Larvae change frequently and become one of the strangest creatures. Curious forked tail with long red flagellae when disturbed. Foodplants are Poplars and Willows.

The caterpillar spins a concrete-hard cocoon of chewed bark, mixed into its own silk, producing a cocoon that is so camouflaged that it is very hard to see - see the picture - VERY hard to see! 

£16.95 £12.95
Buff Tip Moth bucephala Eggs at special prices
Availability: NOW


Buff Tip Moth Phalera bucephala 

 The Buff Tip, once very common, is remarkable and a must for the enthusiast. You could help re-establish Buff Tips in your area. The eggs are laid in a tight cluster on a leaf of the foodplant. A hatched group of eggs is illustrated and you can see the skeletonised leaf left by the tiny larvae as they progress feeding across the leaf. The larvae are gregarious and quite conspicuous by the trail of eaten leaves, and the fact that they form quite a lumpy cluster! 

They are coloured with a netted pattern of yellow and black, warning colours that ward off predators, and larger larvae have a covering of long, fine white silky hairs. The group does not disperse until pupation when they descend to burrow quite deep into the soil.

The moth is a master of deception, rolling its wings to form a silvery tube with extraordinary likeness at either end to a broken branch. If it flies up on being disturbed, it is hard to spot on landing, unless you know what you are looking for, because it so closely resembles a piece of branch.  The larvae feed Maple, Birch, Hazel, Laburnham, Poplar, Prunus (Plums and Blackthorn), Oak, False Acacia Robinia, Hazel, Rose, Willows, Sallows, Lime, Elm, Viburnums.

We recommend Buff Tips as a great experience of nature.

Lappet Moth quercifolia 10 larvae
Availability: Summer


Lappet Moth Gastropacha quercifolia  

We don't get Lappets every year. This is quite special.

A magnificent species with fascinating, very large furry caterpillars that blend into their surroundings, and a moth that looks just like a bunch of leaves. Very easy to rear, sleeved on growing Blackthorn,
Plum, Hawthorn or Apple.

The larvae grow to become a good size for hibernation, when they settle down the twigs and remain still for the winter.

Sleeve the larvae for the winter, using a double sleeve which protects better than single, during winter gales and helps prevent predators. In spring they awake and feed up rapidly, becoming giant and pupating in June. The cocoon is thin and papery. Inside the pupa is fragile and should not be disturbed. The moth is something that will amaze anyone seeing it for the first time!

 

£12.95
Vapourer Moth antiqua 10 larvae.
Availability: NOW


Vapourer Moth Orgyia antiqua

 Eggs are laid by the wingless female in a batch on the cocoon, where they pass the winter and hatch in spring. 

Very interesting both for its moth and its very attractive and colourful caterpillar. Winter eggs are supplied for storage in the cool until spring. The larvae normally hatch in May/June or later, and feed on a wide variety of trees, which include Hawthorn, Willows and Sallows, most fruit trees, Hazel, Rose, Lime and Oak. The larvae are beautifully patterned and coloured, and decorated by prominent shaving brush-like tufts. The cocoon is spun amongst the foodplant.

The male moth is delicate, chestnut brown, with prominent feathered antennae, which are used to detect the wingless female, who emerges from the cocoon and rests on it, calling for a male. She lays her egg batch all over the cocoon where the eggs remain through the winter ready to start off the next generation.

 

£12.95
Vapourer Moth antiqua eggs.
Availability: July onwards


Vapourer Moth Orgyia antiqua

 Eggs are laid by the wingless female in a batch on the cocoon, where they pass the winter and hatch in spring. 

Very interesting both for its moth and its very attractive and colourful caterpillar. Winter eggs are supplied for storage in the cool until spring. The larvae normally hatch in May/June or later, and feed on a wide variety of trees, which include Hawthorn, Willows and Sallows, most fruit trees, Hazel, Rose, Lime and Oak. The larvae are beautifully patterned and coloured, and decorated by prominent shaving brush-like tufts. The cocoon is spun amongst the foodplant.

The male moth is delicate, chestnut brown, with prominent feathered antennae, which are used to detect the wingless female, who emerges from the cocoon and rests on it, calling for a male. She lays her egg batch all over the cocoon where the eggs remain through the winter ready to start off the next generation.

 

Scarce Vapourer Orgyia recens A WHOLE Egg Batch
Availability: September/October


Scarce Vapourer Orgyia recens 

An egg batch is a minimum of 100 eggs. These will produce larvae in a matter of weeks. The larvae feed for a while and hibernate while still quite small. A recommended method is to sleeve them on a branch. Let the leaves fall in the sleeve, and form a protection amongst which the larvae have suitable quarters for dormancy. In the wild they survive in all winter weathers.

Now a rare species, occurring mainly in very few northern and Eastern localities of Britain. The caterpillar is extremely ornate, with decorative and colourful tufts of hair. Moths are produced in June and July. Subsequent larvae hibernate and are best kept for hibernation in sleeves, allowing the fallen leaves to remain in the sleeve, to give protection to the larvae.

Larval foodplants : Hawthorns, Oaks and Sallows, also Birches, Blackthorn, Rose, Bramble, Hazel, Heather, Alder Buckthorn, Meadowsweet, Common Sorrel and Rosebay Willowherb. The female is wingless. She clings to the empty cocoon and lays her eggs on it. The male is much darker than the male Vapourer Moth antiqua,  and of course much rarer.

 

 

£23.50
Scarce Vapourer Orgyia recens larvae
Availability: NOW


Scarce Vapourer Orgyia recens 

Now a rare species, occurring mainly in very few northern localities of Britain. The caterpillar is extremely ornate, with decorative and colourful tufts of hair. Moths are produced in June and July. Subsequent larvae hibernate and are best kept for hibernation in sleeves, allowing the fallen leaves to remain in the sleeve, to give protection to the larvae.

Larval foodplants : Hawthorns, Oaks and Sallows, also Birches, Blackthorn, Rose, Bramble, Hazel, Heather, Alder Buckthorn, Meadowsweet, Common Sorrel and Rosebay Willowherb. The female is wingless. She clings to the empty cocoon and lays her eggs on it. The male is much darker than the male Vapourer Moth antiqua,  and of course much rarer.

 

 

Cabbage Emperor Bunaea alcinoe Africa 15 eggs
Availability: Spring


Cabbage Emperor Bunaea alcinoe Africa

The larvae thrive on Privet and become most spectacular. Ivy has also been found to be a possible winter foodplant. Deciduous foodplants include Hawthorn, Cherry, Apple, Plum, Willows and Oaks. Undoubtedly other trees would be accepted.

The larva pupates underground. Two or more broods a year are possible.

£16.95
Emperor Moth pavonia 10 larvae
Availability: NOW


Emperor Moth Saturnia pavoni

Britain’s only Silkmoth. The male and female have similar markings, but the female is larger, and the male is more brightly coloured. The Emperor Moth occurs in many rural areas but is particularly found on heaths, where they breed on Heathers. Eggs are laid in clusters on the heather, looking just like the dead flowerheads from last year.

The larvae feed on a variety of plants, including Bramble, Raspberry, Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Apple, Plum, Blackthorn, Oak, Hornbeam, Birch, Heathers and Heaths, Blueberry, Meadowsweet, Wild Rose, Sea Buckthorn, Purple Loosestrife, Willows especially Osier Salix viminalis, Pussy Willow (Sallow). 

The caterpillars cluster in the early instars, eventually spreading out and becoming brightly coloured, as beautiful as such exotics as the Indian Moon Moth. The cocoon is spun in the foodplant. This is the stage that passes the winter.  An interesting construction with a neck and open end, through which the adult emerges in spring.  This is one of the fun species to rear.


 
 

 

£12.95