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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Eyed Hawk Smerinthus ocellata pupae
Availability: NOW

Eyed Hawk Smerinthus ocellata



Pupae are stored cool for the winter. Lay them out in April for May emergence. Pairings extremely easy. Larvae feed on Apple, Willows and Sallows. The larvae do best on living foodplant because these plants do not last well in water. Very attractive larvae, highly camouflaged with silvery markings on green, and very streamlined. Single brooded. The moth has beautiful hindwings which it flashes if disturbed. Huge eyespots brightly coloured with magenta and blue. Highly recommended. 


Additional reported foodplants: Poplars, Blackthorn, Lime, Privet, Alder, Birch, Plum, Blackthorn, some Viburnums, Various Prunus, Laurel.



Lime Hawk tiliae pupae SPECIAL PRICE
Availability: NOW

Lime Hawkmoth Mimas tiliae

5 for £22.50 NOW £18.95

Some excellent forms of pattern and colour are appearing from these pupae, including one-spot, banded and brick red forms, as well as a wide colour range of normal pattern. There is no way of detecting these in the early stages, but we are illustrating some of these extreme forms that have been emerging.

Store pupae refrigerated for the winter. The moths normally emerge in May/June.

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.

Privet Hawk S ligustri Pupae
Availability: NOW

Privet Hawk Sphinx ligustri

One of the largest Hawkmoths. Store the pupae cool for the winter.

The caterpillar becomes enormous and is characteristic of the name Sphinx moths, by its sphinx-like resting position. Adults emerge in June and July.  They need nectar from the flowers of Privet, Valerian, Buddleia. 

Larval foodplants: Privet, Lilac, Ash, also reportedly Spiraea, Viburnum opulus, and other Viburnums,  Holly, Dogwood, Snowberry, Apple, Pear, Oleander, Leycesteria, Currant.

One generation in the year. Privet Hawks breed readily in a large cage with nectar and foodplant. 



Pine Hawk H pinastri pupae SPECIAL PRICES
Availability: NOW

Pine Hawk Hyloicus pinastri

5 for £22.00 NOW £18.95 10 for £37.95 NOW £29.95

 For several seasons this species has been difficult to obtain. 

Moths emerge in June/July from pupae stored cool for the winter.  Provide nectar for the adults, and sprigs of pine for the moths to lay on.  The moth is patterned in shades of grey, with black streaks. A rarity in Britain.

Easy to pair and lay. Larvae do well sleeved on pine in pots or the ground.  The larvae are masters of camouflage in all their stages.

The larvae change their camouflage pattern at each skin change. Full of interest, and easy to rear.

Hemaris croatica pupae SPECIAL PRICES
Availability: NOW

The Green Bee Hawk Hemaris croatica

One pupa: £12.95 NOW £10.95 or TWO  for £18.95 

This is a very scarce European Hawkmoth and listed by us for the first time in some 50 years!

Croatica occurs from Greece up nearly to Austria, and eastwards into Asia Minor. The larvae feed on Scabious. Most people have never set eyes on this attractive Bee Hawk.  Almost never seen in collections.

The pupae are dormant until the following year. Store them cold from November until early summer.

Elephant Hawk elpenor pupae SPECIAL PRICES
Availability: NOW

Elephant Hawk Dielephila elpenor

5 for £19.95 NOW £16.95 10 for £37.95 NOW £29.95

Store dormant pupae cool for the winter. The moths emerge in June/July. Cage with nectar flowers and springs of Willowherb – you do not see the pairings but fertile eggs are easily obtained. 

An exceptionally pretty moth with amazing and characterful larvae, with eye-spots and probing “trunks”. Young larvae are green, later changing to charcoal black, with occasional rarities remaining green.

Larvae feed on Willowherbs, Fuschia, Creepers.

Highly recommended.

Cinnabar Moth Hipocrita jacobaeae pupae
Availability: NOW

Cinnabar Moth Hipocrita jacobaeae pupae

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 have a fine stock of pupae available, as a result of breeding.

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.


Kentish Glory E versicolora  pupae
Availability: NOW

Kentish Glory  Endromis versicolora 

Not as many pupae available as normally, but they are available at the moment.

Store pupae refrigerated until February/March when the adults emerge and breed. Provide Birch twigs for females to lay their clusters of yellow eggs. In normal cold conditions, the eggs don't hatch before the foodplant buds open.  

This species is now found only in Scotland, and parts of Central Europe. These are European stock. Emerging as early as February. The first eggs and larvae are ready in March.  Clusters of bright yellow eggs are laid on bare Birch twigs.  Just go out and cut some twigs and arrange them in the cage. The eggs gradually change to a deep purple colour which matches the colour of the twigs. In captivity, the eggs can hatch before the Birch buds are open, so keep some twigs warm inside, standing in water, to get them to sprout.

If you can sleeve the larvae on a growing plant, potted or in the ground, rearing is very easy. The larvae, black at first,  cluster on the twigs. Later they are green and spread out a little, clinging on to the twigs, they look just like Birch catkins. Absolute masters of camouflage. In May the larvae pupate in leaf litter and settle down until the new season starts again in February. This is a very easy species: just make sure you have enough growing foodplant (it can be in pots). The male and female moths share the same patterning, but the female is much larger and the male has particularly rich chestnut markings. Pairing is easy. Just leave the moths together and Nature takes care of things.

Note Kentish Glory larvae can also be fed on Hazel, Alder, Hornbeam, and Lime. It is probable that other alternative tree species may be used as foodplant.

Our thanks to Jens Stolt who has kindly allowed us to use his beautiful illustration of the life history of this rare species.


Pine Arches Moth Panthea coenobita 4 cocoons
Availability: NOW

Pine Arches Moth Panthea coenobita 4 cocoons, believed to be 2 pairs.

An unusual species. A great opportunity to observe and photograph. Just one lot, sold to the first buyer!

Very seldom offered.  A Noctuid that has characteristics akin to the Tussocks. The caterpillar is beautifully coloured and patterned with tufts and tussocks of hair, giving it excellent camouflage on the twigs of its foodplants which are Pines Pinus, Spruces Abies and Larches Larix.

Coenobita is relatively unknown and few breeders have raised it. The species is found over many parts of Europe (excluding Britain) Spain and most of France. Its range extends to the Far East.


Monarch Butterfly (Milkweed) Danaus plexippus  5 pupae
Availability: March 2019

Monarch Butterfly (Milkweed) Danaus plexippus 

Please order early. In order to supply fresh pupae, Monarchs are imported most months from April. Please order early.

This butterfly is officially on the British List, migrating to Britain on rare occasions, from islands off North Africa, and reportedly even from North America. Much larger than any other species on the list, this striking butterfly has powerful, yet graceful flight.

The butterflies will emerge from the pupa in warm, moist conditions. This can be done at little over normal room temperature. They like 25-30 degrees C and will breed at these temperatures.

The butterflies like a warm greenhouse containing nectar plants, and this is the best place also for the emerging cage for the pupae. Shade the cage from direct sun which is too harsh.

The only larval foodplants are Milkweeds Asclepias and Silkweed Gomphocarpus, both of which grow well from seed. Asclepias seeds and even plants can be found on the internet. Gomphocarpus plants are advertised by

Asclepias curassavica is an indoor plant, not frost-hardy, that grows fast and is excellent as a foodplant throughout the year in a greenhouse. There are hardy herbacious species (unsuitable for winter rearing). The most prolific for feeding quantities of larvae is Asclepias syriaca with multiple broad leaves and stems a metre or more high.

Beware: don't under-estimate the voracious appetite of larvae! Grow plenty of foodplant. The larvae and adults are strikingly marked with warning colours to deter predators, and they contain toxins from the foodplant that reinforce the warning! Several generations are produced each summer. 

In the wild, the adults migrate south to warmer climate, where they hibernate in huge numbers, covering whole trees, like autumn leaves.  The pupa is like a miniature Christmas tree bauble! Even if you do not have the foodplants to raise larvae, the emergence of the butterflies in your own emerging cage is a great experience.


Small Milkweed or Plain Tiger Lymnas chrysippus Tropical Asia 6 pupae
Availability: March 2019

Small Milkweed or Plain Tiger Lymnas (Danaus) chrysippus Tropical Asia 

A close relative of the Monarch or Milkweed Butterfly Danaus plexippus. This continuously brooded butterfly likewise feeds on Milkweeds Asclepias and Silkweed. There is some similarity also in the appearance of the larva and pupae of the two species.

The male has a patch of scent scales androconia on one of the hindwing veins and this is a useful way of distinguishing the sexes.

Giant Peacock Moth pyri Cocoons  SPECIAL PRICES
Availability: NOW

Giant Peacock Moth Saturnia pyri

5 for £29.95 NOW £ 24.95 10 for £53.95 NOW £45.95

Magnificent - Europe’s largest moth. Flies in May, pairs easily and lays prodigiously. Exotic looking larvae.

Rear the larvae in warm, dry conditions. They are very easy to rear in the first instars and extra care is needed to bring them through the final instars. They repay proper care, growing fast and changing colour.

The large larva is as handsome as the tropical Saturniidae and has much in common with Moon Moth larvae, but with sapphire blue tubercles. They do well on Blackthorn and Plum and will often feed on other fruit trees and HawthornWillows, Alder and Birch.