CURRENT PUPAE - Chrysalides and cocoons

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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PUPAE NEST
Availability: NOW


PUPAE NEST

The Pupae Nest, using sheets of bobble foam, is the innovative method used by WWB to keep subterranean pupae, in particular, and other pupae and cocoons in ideal conditions in the emerging cage.

•  Developed specifically for underground pupae: also ideal for cocoons and unattached pupae.

•   Immediate access to pupae for inspection, without disturbance.

•  Provides healthy and moist conditions.

•  Easy observation of pupae that are forming up prior to emergence. 

•  Allows the breeder to anticipate the emergence of required males or females.

•  Ensures hygiene and avoidance of harmful bacteria.

This method has proved to be better than using soil or compost, because it enables instant inspection whenever required, for removal of empty pupal shells or any dead pupae, and to be able clean up, with minimum disturbance of the pupae. The pupae rest in the depressions, in natural conditions of humidity and hygiene.  If they were on plain foam sheets they would roll around, and would be less able to benefit from the humidity assisted by the depressions, which also provide separation. The covering sheet of foam is placed with the bobble side down,  so both of the indented  sides are together, which allows some airflow and eases the passage for adults to emerge and climb to dry their wings.

The pupae and foam should be sprayed thoroughly (not just misted) every day, or more often in higher temperatures.  The base of the upper tray is perforated to allow drainage. It rests in an unperforated tray with a block to separate the two trays and receive the drained water. This drainage allows liberal watering, without risk of the pupae lying in water.  

Cocoons also do well resting on a bobble foam sheet, usually without another sheet covering them, though in exceptionally hot conditions, a moist foam sheet on top of the cocoons, helps to maintain humidity. Cocoons require very liberal watering, not a just a fine mist. Soak them thoroughly, safe in the knowledge that they are well drained.

Butterfly pupae, which in the wild are not formed underground, are usually fixed to a twig or other surface, either hanging from the tail cremaster, or (dependent on their family) upright and held in place by a silken girdle. You can go to the trouble of emulating this artificially or they can be laid on the surface of the foam and not covered. As long as they are misted to avoid them drying out, the butterfly usually forms successfully in such pupae laid on foam, and the porous surface helps give the emerging butterfly the grip needed to pull itself out of the chrysalis shell, and crawl to the netting wall of the cage to expand and dry its wings.

From time to time, it is good practice to remove the pupae, wash the foam thoroughly, spray with dilute bleach (about 10% solution, which is not harmful to the pupae) then replace the pupae on nice wet foam. In summer the foam is normally washed about every 2- 3 weeks, using hot water with a touch of bleach added, but without soap or detergent which would create problems with froth and would take too long to rinse away. The washing interval depends on the extent of hatching activity and temperature. Any hint of smell, or slippery feel to the pupae, indicates bacteria, and means that washing is overdue. When adults emerge from the pupa, a waste product Meconium, is ejected. This is only harmful if left so long that it spoils the freshness and encourages bacteria. Empty pupal shells and any other organic matter, are best frequently removed, to avoid build-up of mould or bacteria. In the emerging cage, pupae that are crowded together can develop a slime, caused by bacteria, which slows development and can kill pupae. Pupae nests help to eliminate such risk and periodic washing gives maximum hygiene.

When washing the foam sheets, it is also important to wash and disinfect the two trays. If you are incubating quite a lot of pupae it makes it more convenient to have two Pupae Nests, so you can move the pupae straight into a prepared clean Nest. To encourage this, there is a price reduction for two nests bought together.

TO INCUBATE pupae and COCOONS  An emerging cage should have netting sides with plenty of ventilation. This provides grip for emerging adults, and you can add some sticks.  In summer conditions, you can incubate temperate pupae at room temperature, without further heating, but when it is cool you may wish to add warmth.  When you heat, the ambient temperature can be raised to 25º over a few days, and increase further to 30º if required.  The air around the cage needs to be heated: they don’t do so well if heat is directed at the pupae or the cage. Don't stand the cage on a heat source. You cannot over-water the cocoons as long as they are able to drain. You can hang cocoons: if you do they then need more frequent and heavy watering. 

The Pupae Nest is based on standard seed tray size 24 x 38 cms which fits the Standard Pyjama Cage. 

Exotic butterfly pupae should be incubated, totally shaded, in a tropical greenhouse. The ambience of a tropical greenhouse is not easy to emulate. Some breeders are successful in re-creating such conditions, but it us not sufficient simply to achieve a high temperature and humidity.  For details of how to attach tropical butterfly pupae to twigs, or bamboo, please see the introduction to the Exotic Butterfly section of the WWB website. Exotic butterfly pupae that are not suspended but lying loose, can be laid on the bobble foam of a Pupae Nest, and left uncovered. Remember incubating pupae must always be in full shade.

                                                                                             

BREEDING OUTFIT Cage, Pupae Nest and 5 cocoons for breeding
Availability: NOW


BREEDING OUTFIT Cage, Pupae Nest and 5 cocoons for breeding

The Breeding Outfit includes a Standard Cage, a PUPAE NEST and 5 cocoons. The cocoons will be your choice of the Giant Atlas Moth, the biggest species in the world, or the Chinese Oak Silkmoth pernyi  which are not as giant but they are lideal for even beginners to breed. State your preference for Giant Atlas or Chinese Oak Silkmoth in the comments box when ordering.

The Pyjama Standard Cage is just the right size for incubating even the larger moths, and is useful for rearing larvae, Sitck and Leaf Insects and other creatures. The PUPAE NEST is the innovative way that WWB keeps pupae in the emerging cage. It is designed principally to keep underground pupae in ideal conditions which can be monitored and maintained free of infection, but is also ideal for both Silkmoth Cocoons and Exotic Butterfly Pupae. The PUPAE NEST fits in the Standard Cage, which can also be used later for rearing larvae.

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This equipment, with cocoons for breeding, helps to ensure success. It may appear to be costly, but it provides all that is necessary for breeding these amazing exotic giant moths from cocoons.  Store the cocoons in the fridge until mid-April. Then keep them in the cage on the bobble foam, thoroughly wetted. They like a temperature of 25-30 degrees C. Water liberally on any warm days, ensuring that the cocoons drain and do not lie in water. The moths may take some weeks, but will emerge in summer. Keep one pair at a time together in the cage, nice and warm to encourage them to mate. They stay joined for a day and must not be moved or disturbed. The female will lay eggs on the netting of the cage.

 

£83.80
European Swallowtail machaon gorganus 5 pupae
Availability: Autumn 2021


European Swallowtail Papilio machaon gorganus

Very difficult to obtain, there are seldom enough to meet demand. Keep winter pupae refrigerated until late April. Lay the pupae on foam sheet in the base of a netting emerging cage. Spray in hot weather. The butterflies normally emerge in May/June.

For breeding, the butterflies require some space, nectar flowers and growing foodplant. They need sunlight and humidity. Give them a shady area in the cage. Eggs are laid on the foodplant leaves.

The larvae are very easy to rear on Fennel, Carrot leaves and Parsnip leaves and flowers (wild and cultivated). One of the most attractive butterfly larvae and a joy to rear!

£35.00
Scarce Swallowtail podalirius  pupae
Availability: Autumn


Scarce Swallowtail Iphiclides podalirius 

Limited number available now.

Good size, plump and clear colour. Increasingly difficult to obtain. The larvae feed on Blackthorn. Most people find this species difficult to breed but it is a joy to have them emerge at home, and worth trying to breed.
 

Festoon Zerynthia polyxena pupae
Availability: NOW


The Festoon Zerynthia polyxena Europe

A delicate spring butterfly in the Swallowtail family Papilionidae

The terrain for this charming species is in mountains, usually lower than 2000m. The species is widely dispursed in southern and eastern Europe and in Russia, seldom occurring in large numbers in any one locality. The Festoon is found in the French and Italian Alps, northwards through Austria to the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is also found in the mountains of Greece and Bulgaria, Belarus and several mountain ranges in Russia.

The larvae (which are like minatures of Birdwing larvae) feed on Birthwort Aristolochia clematitis, A. rotunda and other local Aristolochia.

Store the pupae cold for the winter months. The adults normally emerge from May. There is only one generation in the year.

 

Spicebush Swallowtail troilus pupae
Availability: NOW


Spicebush Swallowtail Papilio troilus North America

A large swallowtail from the Eastern parts of North America. The larvae, which have wonderful enlarged eye markings, feed on Spicebush Lindera benzoin and Sassafras Sassafras albidum, Camphor Cinnamomum camphora, and Redbay Persea borbonia, perhaps prickly ash Zanthoxylum americanum. In Europe they are bred on Tulip Tree Liriodendron and Sweetbay Magnolia virginiana.  Butterflies are produced this year. There are two generations. Store winter pupae refrigerated in a plastic box, until May.

 

 

On the back of the thorax on the pupa, there is a curious pattern in the exact image of a butterfly, even with curly antennae!

 

 

 

ACP. Butterflies - used copy
Availability: NOW


All Colour Paperback BUTTERFLIES Robert Goodden.

No other book gives such plain and practical advice for the study of butterflies and moths.
A comprehensive guide - outlining techniques for the breeding and study of butterflies and moths. This book also shows a grand selection of butterflies of every continent. Packed with essential information, colourful pictures and diagrams by the butterfly artist JOYCE BEE. Paperback. 160  pages. 7 x 4". An essential guide for the beginner.

This book went out of print many years ago. WWB bought the entire stock of the English language edition. Stocks have now sold out. There are some used copies, damage or marking mainly on the covers, which does not materially affect the content. Even these are now down to rather few copies.
Published by Hamlyn. Available only from Worldwide Butterflies.

 


 

£21.95
Pyjama Mini Cage 22 x 29 x 25cm high
Availability: NOW


Pyjama Mini Cage 22 x 29 x 25cm high

This popular cage has just got even better. Nearly a third larger, and much improved dimensions.

Ideal as a beginner's cage, but also for the busy breeder who wants separate small cages. Excellent as an emerging cage for chrysalides and cocoons, ideal for keeping small numbers of larvae or other insects, when large enough for cage rearing.

This cage is suitable for laying out small numbers of pupae to emerge. Also for rearing smaller numbers of larvae or smaller larvae. Baby larvae should be first reared in plastic rearing containers or kept covered on growing food. Please see the note on the page for plastic rearing containers. This cage will hold small covered pots of plant, and larger sizes of cage are available for larger subjects.

When necessary the netting cover can be slipped off for cleaning or replacement. The Pyjama Mini cage is assembled in minutes and easily packed flat for winter storage. As the interest grows there are larger sizes available. For the experienced breeder the Mini Cage has many uses where a series of smaller cages is needed for separating species and giving different treatment.

The cover can be washed by hand or machine, making your used cage like new for almost no effort, and no cost.

 

 

£22.95
The Giant Swallowtail Papilio cresphontes pupae
Availability: Autumn


The Giant Swallowtail Papilio cresphontes North America

 This is North America's largest butterfly. An impressive broad-winged Swallowtail as fine as any tropical species.  The Giant Swallowtail will breed in captivity. The larvae, which are knarled and resemble a bird dropping, feed on Rutaceae: Citrus, Rue and probably Choisya, as well as Zanthotoxylum.

Black-veined White crataegi 5 pupae
Availability: Spring 2022


Black-veined White Aporia crataegi 

More orders can be taken NOW for spring pupae in late April. These produce butterflies in May.

Black-veined Whites lived in Britain until about 1911. Maybe one day they will live here again?

The pupae are very brightly coloured, angular, greenish white, with contrasting markings in black and yellow. Easy to hatch out. They lay clusters of bright yellow eggs. Resulting larvae spin a web and live in this while they develop, and eventually settle down there for the winter.

Larvae do well sleeved on Hawthorn (their preferred foodplant), Plum, Blackthorn, Plum or Apple. The larvae live in a cluster.

Summer larvae spin a very small and concealed web on the branch, in which they hibernate. Leave the sleeve untouched for the winter. In spring they awake as soon as the buds burst, and begin to grow very quickly. 

£16.95
Orange Tip Anthocharis cardamines pupae
Availability: NOW


Orange Tip Anthocharis cardamines Europe

Store the pupae in a cool place, for the winter, even a refrigerator, loose in a plastic box. An early spring butterfly. Depending on locality and season, the butterflies usually begin to fly in May. The male has the orange tips. Both sexes have mottled undersides in green which is actually made of microscopic scales of black and yellow, giving the illusion of green. The curious pupae look like thorns.

Eggs are laid on Garlic Mustard, Sweet Rocket and Cuckoo Flower or Lady’s Smock. The larvae live singly and are canabalistic. Not difficult to breed, particularly on potted foodplant. Camouflage in all stages is remarkable.

 

Map Butterfly levana  Pupae
Availability: Autumn


Map Butterfly Araschnia levana

A charming and quite small Vanessid butterfly that occurs throughout much of Europe but not in the British Isles. It has been established in Britain but the colony was deliberately destroyed. This is a nettle feeder.

The eggs are laid in unique pendant strings from the underside of a nettle leaf.  Younger larvae are gregarious.

There are normally two broods: the spring brood is patterned rather like a fritillary, as illustrated. In July the second brood (form porosa) emerges looking like miniature White Admirals!

An established British colony was deliberately exterminated. Why not try again?

 

Pairing is not easy but success is more likely if you can create a netting sleeve that brings the two sexes together, like the peak of a hood.  Second brood larvae hang up to pupate in secluded places for the winter. The pupae we are offering now are to be stored in a cool outhouse or fridge until April. Then lay them out for emergence in April/May.