SCHOOLS Recommended Livestock

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. Please read the Plastic Rearing Container section for advice on rearing young caterpillars which must have nursery treatment while they are not large enough to be kept in cages. This information is enlarged upon in the paperback guide referred to above.

We do not invoice: please use school or personal credit card to order on this website, and reclaim with the invoice printed from your account.Thank you.

 
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Emperor Moth pavonia  15 eggs
Availability: May/June 2025


Emperor Moth Saturnia pavoni

Britain’s only Silkmoth. The male and female have similar markings, but the female is larger, and the male is more brightly coloured. The Emperor Moth occurs in many rural areas but is particularly found on heaths, where they breed on Heathers. Eggs are laid in clusters on the heather, looking just like the dead flowerheads from last year.

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 Indian Moon Moth. The cocoon is spun in the foodplant. This is the stage that passes the winter.  An interesting construction with a neck and open end, through which the adult emerges in spring.  This is one of the fun species to rear.

Store cocoons in a cupboard until November. Then keep refrigerated until mid- February when they can be put in the emerging cage ready for hatching in March.


 
 

 

£12.95 +vat
Chinese Oak Silkmoth Antheraea pernyi Large cocoons fresh from CHINA
Availability: NOW


Chinese Oak Silkmoth Antheraea pernyi Large cocoons fresh from CHINA

Highly recommended for those who are looking for a spectacular moth, with LARGE exotic larvae: easily reared.  

 

 

 

 

This species used to be universally available. Over the years captive bred stocks have disappointingly become in-bred. We now have strong wild Chinese stock, and orders can be taken now for eggs and larvae available from May.

A large species, and probably the best for beginners. Moths emerge in the spring. They pair very easily.

Eggs are laid on the sides of the cage. The larvae feed on Oak, Apple, Hawthorn, Beech, Willow and undoubtedly other trees and shrubs. Black at first, the larvae become green, with decorations of orange. The larvae become very large and eat a great deal of food. Although an oriental species, pernyi  has now become established in Europe.

There are two generations of moths each summer.

Chinese Oak Silkmoth pernyi 15 eggs
Availability: NOW


Chinese Silkmoth Antheraea pernyi  

Highly recommended for those who are looking for a spectacular moth, with LARGE exotic larvae: easily reared.  

This species used to be universally available. Over the years captive bred stocks have disappointingly become in-bred. We now have strong wild Chinese stock. 

A large species, and undoubtedly the best for beginners. Moths emerge in the spring. They pair very easily. 

Very easy to keep. Young larvae are black, and later turn green. They become enormous, feeding on  Oak, Birch, Sweet Chestnut, Horse Chestnut, Prunus, Hornbeam (Carpinus), Apple, Hawthorn, Beech, Osier Willow.  After about 2 months the larvae spin silk cocoons - an extra opportunity for a teaching project. Moths emerge the same year. Autumn larvae spin over-wintering cocoons.

Larvae thrive on Evergreen Oak when other plants not available. In winter, if the evergreen leaves are a bit leathery, make some incisions in the leaves with scissors. This releases attractive scent to the larvae and and gives them easier places to start feeding.

A PERFECT species for children and beginners! 

£18.95 +vat