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.

Display: List / Grid
Sort By:
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 winter pupae refrigerated in a plastic box. In the emerging cage it is important to have the pupae moist but well drained. Please see the Pupae Nest on this website. The moths usually emerge in June and July. 

Cage the moths 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.

Spurge Hawk H euphorbiae pupae
Availability: NOW

Spurge Hawk  Hyles euphorbiae 

A very rare migrant to Britain. They have been found on sand dunes on the southern shores of England.

Fine, healthy pupae. Store refrigerated until May. In the emerging cage keep as described for the Pupae Nest on this website. 

The moths breed at night and pairings are seldom seen. Provide potted foodplant on which the clusters of green eggs are laid. The larvae are black at first and they are gregarious. As they grow they separate and take on a multitude of amazingly bright and varied colours. The larvae will feed on most Spurges, including the summer weed Sun or Petty Spurge. The moths lay well on the tender shoots and Cypress Spurge Euphorbia cyparissias is a favourite. Larger larvae will feed the coarser Spurges, such as Caper Spurge and Wulfeni.

Pupae are formed on or beneath the surface of the ground. In warm conditions there may be multiple generations. Winter is spent as dormant pupae.






Only a few. They are for breeding in summer.


Dormant pupae are kept cool for the winter. Adults emerge in June/July.


Provide nectar flowers and potted Spurge plants for egg-laying. The best Spurges are Cypress Spurge (cyparissias), Wood Spurge, Sea Spurge, and the annual Sun or Petty Spurges are all suitable.  Eggs are laid in clutches near the tips. The young larvae are black and cluster. 


Soon they take on amazing spots and stripes of yellow, red, white and green.  Some of the most colourful larvae in the world.







Oleander Hawk nerii Pupae
Availability: NOW

Oleander Hawkmoth Daphnis nerii  

One of the finest of all Hawkmoths. They can be bred in captivity. The larvae are very fast growing indeed. Most breeders rear the larvae on Privet Ligustrum. The larvae thrive on Periwinkle Vinca, and in the wild they are found on Oleander Nerium.

Pupae can be kept warm (20ºC) and moist to emerge this autumn/winter, or they can be kept cool to emerge and breed in the 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 (10-12 degrees C) away from predadors. Bring into the warm in April ready for May emergence.

In the emerging cage, underground pupae need to be in moist compost or kept as described for the Pupae Nest on this website.

Convolvulous Hawk convolvuli pupae Pupae
Availability: Late summer 2020

Convolvulous Hawkmoth convolvuli Herse convolvuli

The pupa has an exceptionally large proboscis case protruding, like a jug handle! Keep the pupae warm and they will produce adults this summer. Otherwise you can store the pupae cool for the winter and allow to hatch in May/June. 

The larvae feed on most Convolvulous species. The moth likes to feed from deep throated flowers (Tobacco Nicotiana is a favourite).

Females lay a large number of eggs.

Dolbina tancrei Asia Breeding Stock of 5 pupae
Availability: NOW

Dolbina tancrei Asia

This Hawkmoth is not very often offered for sale. Not difficult to breed. The larvae feed on Privet, Ash and Lilac.

Very interestingly marked larvae, changing pattern and colour several times as they grow. 

The pupa is formed underground where it remains until the next season.

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.


Buff Tip Moth bucephala pupae
Availability: NOW

Buff Tip Moth Phalera bucephala

The Buff Tip, once very common, is remarkable and a must for the enthusiast.  The eggs are laid in a tight cluster on a leaf underside 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.

Belted Beauty Lycea zonaria Pupae
Availability: NOW

The Belted Beauty Lycea zonaria

In Britain this species is very rare indeed, and protected. Found in only about 3 localities on sandy nutrient-poor grassland or dunes. Very scarce in Holland, where it occurs in similar coastal areas. Our stock comes from central Europe, where it is sometimes found on dry limestone slopes where the vegetation is sparse. 

Eggs are laid in batches particularly on grasses where they can be tucked into pockets and hollow stems. The larvae feed on a variety of vegetation - possibly almost anything that is growing amongst the grasses. They are recorded as feeding on Clovers, Kidney Vetch, Bird’s-foot Trefoil, Yarrow, Creeping Willows and Sallows, Coltsfoot, Plantains, Burnet Rose and even Flag Iris. The larva is a medium green, well camouflaged colour, but with a prominent lemon yellow lateral stripe. This is a Geometer - looper caterpillar.

This is one of the few moths that has a wingless female. The female rests sometimes prominently where they more easily attract males, which fly by day and by night. 

The pupa is formed only a little below the ground surface, where it spends the winter. Store winter pupae in a closed plastic box, very cool or refrigerated. To avoid desiccation don't leave in open air. In the emerging cage, keep moist at all times. See the Pupae Nest on this website. Emergence starts in the very early spring.

This is an opportunity not to be missed, to breed a very rare species and see its life history at first hand.


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

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.

Tau Emperor Aglia tau Breeding Pupae SPECIAL PRICES!
Availability: NOW

Tau Emperor Aglia tau

This year's pupae are of exceptional size and quality!

SPECIAL PRICES: 5 for 21.95  Now £18.95   10 for  £43.90  Now £34.95 

This European Silkmoth emerges about the same time as the Emperor Moth, in early spring, and is in the same family of Silkmoths (Saturniidae).  Very easy to breed: lay the pupae out in February for March/April 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.



Emperor Moth pavonia  cocoons
Availability: NOW

Emperor Moth Saturnia pavonia

Britain’s only Silkmoth. The male and female have similar markings, but the female is larger, and the male is more brightly coloured.

Emergence is in March/April.  Pairing is easy – if you have a female, she may attract males from miles away. The Emperor Moth occurs in many rural areas but is particularly found on heaths, where they breed on Heathers. 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 Moon Moths. The cocoon is spun in the foodplant. An interesting construction with a neck and open end, through which the adult emerges. 

Store cocoons in a plastic box in a fridge until March. The moths normally emerge in April.

This is one of the fun species to rear.  Demand for this species is high. Please order early.