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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Antheraea frithi cocoons
Availability: NOW

Antheraea frithi Thailand

 A relative of the Tussore Silkmoth and one of the loveliest of the Antheraea species. Not difficult to breed. The larvae feed on Oak and Beech. If desired one can experiment with other deciduous trees to find further foodplants.  The larvae and pupae have a lot in common with Antheraea mylitta, a little smaller, and the moths are if anything more richly coloured and patterned.


Bullseye Moth Automeris io  cocoons
Availability: Autumn

Bullseye Moth Automeris io North America 

This small silkmoth has a number of interesting characteristics. The male and female are distinctly different colours – both have the enormous eye markings on the hindwings which are exposed when the moth is disturbed. The larvae are covered by branched spines – don’t touch them – they sting like a nettle. They are gregarious until the larvae are quite large, changing colour at each skin change. Very interesting and easy to rear.

For pairing, keep the moths in a cage the size of the Pyjama Mini Cage. Fertile eggs develop a black dot which is the micropyle, through which the embryo breathes. A useful indicator of fertility, not present in most other species.

The larvae are polyphagous, ie they will accept a wide variety of foodplants, which include such trees as Oak, Lime, Willow, Hazel, Bramble, Apple, Hawthorn and more.

European Cynthia Moth Philosamia 5 male cynthia cocoons
Availability: NOW

European Cynthia Moth Philosamia cynthia   

Difficult to obtain now.  We have a fine stock of wild Italian pupae which are at a good price. The moths pair easily. These cocoons are large and extra fine quality, wild-collected by an entomologist who specialises in Philosamia. This is one of Europe's largest moths, that has become established in a few restricted areas of Europe. We recommend these cocoons very highly.

The larvae are gregarious when young, starting yellow, with black flecks, later they become greenish white, with white flakey wax particles or dust.

Foodplants: Privet, Portuguese Laurel, Lilac, Willows, Ailanthus, Osier Salix viminalis.  Undoubtedly other plants.

Eri Silkmoth Philosamia cynthia ricini  cocoons
Availability: Sep/Oct

Eri Silkmoth Philosamia cynthia ricinI

A very attractive form with dark banded moths.

Very easy indeed to breed in captivity. The larvae feed on Privet, Ailanthus and Ricinus. They are gregarious when young, yellow and black. Larger larvae are covered with white waxy powder.

This subspecies is continuously brooded and can be kept going in all seasons. The cocoon is white and is used to produce spun silk.


Madagascan Emperor Antherina suraka Madagascar cocoons
Availability: Autumn

Madagascan Emperor  Antherina suraka 

Not only is the moth highly colourful and attractive, but the larvae are also most interesting, having an almost infinite number of different colour forms. 

The moths pair as easily as pernyi (!) and lay lots of eggs.

The larvae are easy to keep indoor or sleeved out in summer weather,  and will take a variety of foodplants. Those reported include Oleander, Privet, Willows, Beech, Liquidambar, Hawthorn, Grapevine, Lilac, Cherry, Laurel, Forcythia, Rhus, Pistachia, Apple, Pear, Plum, Peach and Cabbage.

We highly recommend this species.


Owl Butterfly Caligo atreus two pupae
Availability: NOW

Owl Butterfly Caligo atreus pupae


This is one of the largest South American butterflies and magnificently coloured, on a par with Morphos for impressiveness and beauty.

The underside not only has the characteristic huge owl eye markings, but it is uniquely patterned with complicated cream areas.

Like Morpho butterflies, the Owl species are crepuscular, flying mainly at dusk and dawn. They feed avidly from rotting fruit.  If you are lucky enough to have a tropical greenhouse you can expect these to breed in the presence of the larval foodplant, Banana trees. If you don't have such conditions you might be lucky in these warm conditions if you use a large cage with potted banana plants.

Owl Butterfly pupae are vast - at least the size of the Birdwing pupae - and they resemble folded decaying leaves of the Banana tree, on which the larvae have been feeding. Suspend the pupae from the tail, in suitably warm, shaded and moist conditions, sit back and await one of the greatest experiences of nature!

American Moon Moth Actias luna Cocoons
Availability: NOW

American Moon Moth Actias luna North America

A very attractive Moon Moth that emerges from May and breeds exceptionally easily.  The larvae feed well on Walnut, Birch, Osier Willow, Liquidambar, Plane, Maples, Aspen, Plum, Sallow,  Several kinds of Oak and maybe other foodplants.

A second brood is produced in late summer. Winter is passed in the cocoon stage. Store them cold from November until April. May is the normal emergence time for the first brood.