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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Broad-bordered Bee Hawk H fuciformis pupae
Availability: NOW

Broad-bordered Bee Hawk Hemaris fuciformis


During the winter keep the dormant pupae cool. The adults emerge in June. The wings are covered with very loose grey scales on the freshly emerged moths. When they fly, the scales are flung off, leaving clear areas, more like the wings of bees and wasps.


Provide breeding adults with nectar flowers, and sprigs of Honeysuckle leaves for egg-laying.  This is a very special species – one that will give a lot of pleasure.

Extremely difficult to obtain. 


Broad-bordered Bee Hawk H fuciformis male pupae  SPECIAL PRICE
Availability: NOW

Broad-bordered Bee Hawk Hemaris fuciformis


5 male pupae normally £25.95 NOW £19.95


During the winter keep the dormant pupae cool. The adults emerge in June. The wings are covered with very loose grey scales on the freshly emerged moths. When they fly, the scales are flung off, leaving clear areas, more like the wings of bees and wasps.


This is a very special species – one that will give a lot of pleasure.



Elephant Hawk elpenor pupae
Availability: NOW

Elephant Hawk Dielephila elpenor


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.


High recommended.



Small Elephant Hawk porcellus pupae SALE PRICE
Availability: NOW

Small Elephant Hawk Dielephila porcellus


FIVE Pupae £22.00 SALE PRICE now £17.95

TEN  Pupae £37.95 SALE PRICE now £32.95

A charming, quite small Hawkmoth, coloured intense magenta and orange, flying in June/July.  Store pupae cool for the winter. Set up with nectar flowers and sprigs of Bedstraw for egg-laying. The larvae are miniatures of the Elephant Hawkmoth and not difficult to rear. Prepare lots of Bedstraw in advance. 


The larvae are recorded as accepting these alternative foodplants: Willowherbs Epilobium, Busy Lizzie and Balsam Impatiens, Vines Vitis, Creepers Parthenocissus, and Purple Loosestrife Lythrum.



This is an unusual species if you want to try something new.


Oleander Hawk nerii 2 pupae
Availability: December

Oleander Hawkmoth Daphnis nerii  


2017 orders have been supplied. We hope there may be some late autumn pupae. If not, your order will be held for priority display in 2018.


One of the finest of all Hawkmoths. The larvae are very fast growing indeed and they consume a lot of food. Apart from Oleander Nerium, the larvae thrive on Periwinkle Vinca, and can be reared on Privet Ligustrum. Pupae will produce adults this spring.


To overwinter autumn pupae, 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.


Cephanodes hylas Eastern Green Bee Hawk 5 pupae
Availability: NOW

Eastern Green Bee Hawk Cephanodes hylas

A very large species from Far Eastern Russia, occurring also across S.E. Asia and Australia. Said to be easy to breed in captivity.  

One of the most preferred plants for laying and larval feeding is Gardnia. The larvae also feed well on Honeysuckle Lonicera species.

Only a few pupae available. 

Another first time for WWB!

Ampelophaga rubiginosa from Far Eastern Russia A breeding stock of 5 pupae
Availability: NOW

Ampelophaga rubiginosa from Far Eastern Russia


Summer pupae may be incubated to produce another generation, or kept cool to breed next season.


Never before offered by WWB. This Hawkmoth is seldom available. The moths apparently seldom come to light, nor to flowers. Its range extends from the Himalayas, Far East (Russia, China, Japan), southwards through, Myanmar and Thailand, and Indo China to Malaysia and Sumatra. Markings of the moth and depth of colour are quite variable.


The larvae are very attractive, differing with changes of instar; very streamlined and strongly reminiscent of the North American Darapsa myron. In the final instar some larvae have a patterned brown form. They feed on Virginia Creeper and Boston Ivy Parthenocissus and Vine Vitis. There are reports of larvae accepting Hydrangea paniculata, Salix and Malus. It seems that there is a need to confirm these and maybe finding other food plants. Try Osier Salix viminalis, which has been so successful for many species, but have creeper or vine available in case the experimental plants are rejected.


The pupae have the curious habit of wriggling violently when sprayed, even appearing to hop around!


The number of generations in a year depends on the latitude and climate. In captivity and summer conditions, a second brood is quite probable. 


This species is highly recommended for the connoisseur breeder, and a great photographic opportunity.


Cinnabar Moth Hipocrita jacobaeae pupae
Availability: Autumn 2018

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: Autumn 2018

Kentish Glory  Endromis versicolora 


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.


Monarch Butterfly (Milkweed) Danaus plexippus  5 pupae
Availability: Available regularly but not all the time.

Monarch Butterfly (Milkweed) Danaus plexippus 

Pupae are not available very often. Please order immediately.

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.


Tau Emperor Aglia tau Breeding Stock of 5 Pupae
Availability: Autumn 2018

Tau Emperor Aglia tau


A Breeding Stock of 5 pupae to emerge March/April.


This European Silkmoth (not found in Britain) appears before our Emperor Moth and is in the same family of Silkmoths (Saturniidae).  Very easy to breed: lay the pupae out in February for March emergence. The moths fly and pair by day, and particularly appreciate sunshine.  Eggs are laid on the cage sides. 


The young larvae are adorned with antlers, as impressive as the American Hicory Horned Devils! Foodplants include Lime, Oak, Birch, Hawthorn, and other trees and shrubs. Pupation is in leaf litter. Single brooded.


Highly recommended.



Giant Peacock Moth pyri Cocoons  SPECIAL PRICES
Availability: NOW

Giant Peacock Moth Saturnia pyri



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.