SPRING and SUMMER EGGS and LARVAE Order now for supply in season

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Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae 10 larvae
Availability: Summer


Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae

The larvae live in tight clusters on the tips of nettle. If possible keep young larvae caged or in sleeves on growing nettle indoors or outside.

When the larvae have grown and need a lot of food, they can be kept in a cage on cut nettle in a jar of water. In a matter of weeks the pupae are formed hanging from the cage top, and the butterflies emerge in a little over a fortnight.

The butterflies can be kept in a cage for a few days, with plenty of flowers for nectar, and then released to help the wild populations. 



 

 

£19.95
Peacock Butterfly Inachis io 10 larvae
Availability: June/July


Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io)
Take advantage of this good season and help native butterfly species. Have the fun of watching them develop, pupate and hatch. Then release the butterflies to enhance the local butterfly population.

Young larvae should be started on growing nettle tips where they live in a tight cluster. When the larvae are larger, keep them caged on cut stems of nettle in a jar of water. Pupae are formed in a matter of weeks, hanging from the cage top. Butterflies emerge in about 3 weeks.  They can be kept for a few days in a cage with flowers for nectar, then released into the wild.

Peaock larvae need fresh nettle, growing if possible. Below we suggest a possible alternative, but growing nettle is the strongly recommended rearing method.

If you wish to rear the larvae in plastic boxes, while they are small, they can be kept on a lining of absorbent paper, with a sizeable sprig of fresh, un-wilted nettle. The paper lining must be changed and fresh food given EVERY day (including weekends). Place the previous day’s food with larvae on the new paper liner, add a fresh and adequate sprig of nettle, and the larvae will transfer themselves to the new food. Give them entire nettle stems with leaves, not leaves alone. Close the lid and keep the box out of sunlight. The closed container keeps the foodplant fresh. No holes are needed because there is more than enough trapped air for larvae to breathe. Never allow excessive condensation, nor mould. The size of box should be chosen according to the size and number of larvae being reared. The size 5 box is large enough to house them once they have grown for a week or two. For smaller larvae the Size 8 is appropriate. Rearing in a plastic container is only a temporary measure. Before the larvae become too large for the box, they should be kept in a cage, with the nettle kept fresh in a jar of water and changed daily. The pupae are formed hanging from the top of the cage and the foodplant. Even better is to sleeve the larvae on growing nettle. Be ready to move them to fresh food as soon as half the food supply has been eaten. Never leave moving the sleeve until most of the food has been consumed.

 


 

£19.95
Red Admiral atalanta 10 larvae
Availability: April/May


Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta 

This is not a species for a beginner. Eggs are so small that a lens is needed to see them. When sent as larvae, as these are, they are usually tiny, needing a strong lens to see them before they start making leaf-tents. This is no problem for an experienced breeder, but is not as easy to look after as larvae that arrive at a visible size or as a cluster.

The larvae are solitary and make a nettle leaf into a tent. Inside the leaf tent the larva develops quickly in warm weather, sometimes moving to a bigger tent

The final shelter is where the larva hangs up and pupates. The butterflies will emerge this summer.  If you can keep them on growing foodplant, either potted or sleeved outside, this is the best way to accommodate their need for fresh food as a shelter.

 Larvae are too small  to be put into a cage or aquarium. They are best reared on growing foodplant, enclosed in a sleeve.

 

 

 

 

 

£16.95
Painted Lady cardui 10 larvae
Availability: NOW


Painted Lady Vanessa cardui
Orders will be sent feeding on diet instead of leaf. This means they travel better in the journey by post, and they can be changed to leaf on arrival.

POSTAL DELAYS At present Royal Mail is under pressure due to the Covid 19 crisis. Please be patient if your order takes more days than usual and please refrain from expressing anger if the delay has caused loss of livestock.     Everyone is doing their best!   Thank you.

The Painted Lady butterfly occurs in more continents of the world than any other butterfly. The larvae are easy to rear on Thistle (its preferred food plant), Burdock, Stinging Nettle, Mallow, Hollyhock and will often take other foodplants. 

Each larva lives solitarily from birth. It spins a protective silk cover, living at first off the leaf cuticle. When possible, keep the larvae on a growing foodplant, which enables the caterpillar to make its silk cover, and move on to fresh food when it requires. If kept on cut food, please ensure that the plant is kept fresh and changed before the quality of the food suffers. This of course applies to all species, but the method has to take into account the solitary habit of the larva, and its protective silk. The best way is to enclose pot and foodplant in a sleeve. The WWB zipped sleeves make this a very convenient rearing method.

Depending on temperature, the larvae pupate in a little over a month. Butterflies emerge in 2-3 weeks. The cycle continues throughout summer and several broods are possible in a season.

The butterflies can be kept with nectar flowers for some days, and then except in the colder months October to March, released to breed in the wild.

There may be a delay of a couple of weeks if larvae are not at the right size for sending. Can be ordered immediately.

Larvae are often quite small when sent. Too small  to be put into a cage or aquarium. They are best reared on growing foodplant, enclosed in a sleeve. Alternatively keep in a plastic box, lined with absorbent paper, and changed daily. For details see the All Colour Paperback BUTTERFLIES.

£13.95
Painted Lady cardui  5 larvae in Pot on Diet
Availability: NOW


Five Painted Lady larvae in Total Environment Pot

The five Painted Lady caterpillars live their whole life inside the see-through pot which contains all they need from birth to pupating. You need add no food. You don’t even clean them out and they look after themselves over weekends!

The larvae grow quite quickly in summer indoor conditions (never keep them in direct sunshine).  The container is easily passed round a group without disturbance to the larvae.
During skin change the larvae do not move or eat This may last a day or two.

Don't be alarmed by this: it is a natural stage in their development.

When the larvae have finished eating, they suspend themselves from a silk pad spun on special absorbent paper in the lid. Here they cast their caterpillar skin.  If you are lucky and look at the right moment you can see the actual moment of change from caterpillar to chrysalis.

Let the chrysalis harden for a couple of days, then hang the paper pinned inside a cage for the butterflies to emerge.

You can keep the butterflies for a few days in a cage with nectar flowers. Then, except in the colder months October to March, release them into the wild where they may breed naturally in your area. Please keep the larvae and pupae in an even room temperature (around 18-22º) day and night. Keep away from direct sunlight or a direct heat source such as a radiator.

The instructions are printed above - please note them for the arrival of the larvae which are not sent with further instructions. If you are sending larvae as a present, please remember the recipient will not have these instructions, unless you copy them to the recipient.

 

Can be ordered in advance. During the season there may be a delay of a couple of weeks or more if larvae are not currently at the size for sending. 


One pot of 5 Painted Lady caterpillars £13.95         Six pots of 5 Painted Lady caterpillars for group study (one supplied free!) for only £69.75

 

Comma larvae c-album 10 larvae
Availability: June/July


Comma Butterfly Polygonia c-album   

Fascinating larvae with curious half and half markings in black, brown and white, mimicking a bird dropping. The larvae feed on Stinging Nettle, Elm and Hop. Also Sallow, Osier Willow Salix viminalis, and sometimes other Willows. They live singly. Fast growing.

Young larvae will succeed best if placed on growing foodplant. Enclose plant and pot in a netting sleeve, tied at both ends: size 3 is ideal. Otherwise you can sleeve Comma larvae on branches of Elm, Sallow and Willows, including Osier. Good ventilation is required. Cut food is not recommended at least until the larvae are nearly half grown. Comma larvae do not like crowding, and do best kept so that each caterpillar can get away and live on its own. Disease can occur if conditions are not perfect. If it does, it helps that the larvae live separately. Any infected or dead larvae should be removed and disinfection should be carried out, lightly spraying 10% bleach solution, which will not affect healthy larvae, but does help prevent the spread of disease.

This garden butterfly is capable of re-colonising places where it used to be. In autumn the butterflies are very partial to fallen fruit. With some help this butterfly could be encouraged to spread.

Keeping two species of larvae together on the same foodplant?  It is sometimes possible, but their way of life may differ and we recommend keeping them separately.  Comma larvae live solitary lives and should be reared in their own enclosure.

£14.95
Silver-washed Fritillary paphia 10 larvae
Availability: New orders spring 2022


Silver-washed Fritillary Argynnis paphia

Spring larvae are not certain, but we are booking orders and awaiting news from our breeder how many have come through hibernation.

Post-hibernation larvae, to pupate in late spring and produce butterflies this season.

Feed on Violet or Pansy leaves – best kept on potted food.  Make sure that, if you buy potted foodplant, there had been no insecticide used  to produce them!

Keep hibernating larvae in leaf litter, in a plastic box in a very cool place for the winter. They wake in January/February and then need to be enclosed inside a sleeve, on potted violet.

 

 

£16.95
Marsh Fritillary aurinia larvae  20 larvae SPECIAL PRICE
Availability: February 2022


Marsh Fritillary Eurodryas aurinia 

SPECIAL PRICE FOR 20 Larvae!

Larvae feed low amongst the leaves of Devil’s Bit Scabioius, but will also eat Honeysuckle. Honeysuckle starts leafing very early in the year, especially where sheltered in woodland. By February it is not diffficult to find enough foodplant to keep caterpillars well fed.  In captivity the larvae are recorded as accepting Ribwort Plantain Plantago lanceolata, Teasel Dipsacus and Snowberry Symphoricarpos.

Pre-hibernation larvae might be induced to develop and produce another generation with long day-length and sufficient warmth.

After waking in the spring the larvae grow fast, pupating in April and emerging as butterflies in May.

£25.90 £17.50
Marsh Fritillary aurinia larvae  10 larvae
Availability: February 2022


Marsh Fritillary Eurodryas aurinia 

Larvae feed low amongst the leaves of Devil’s Bit Scabioius, but will also eat Honeysuckle. Honeysuckle starts leafing very early in the year, especially where sheltered in woodland. By February it is not diffficult to find enough foodplant to keep caterpillars well fed.  In captivity the larvae are recorded as accepting Ribwort Plantain Plantago lanceolata, Teasel Dipsacus and Snowberry Symphoricarpos.

Pre-hibernation larvae might be induced to develop and produce another generation with long day-length and sufficient warmth.

After waking in the spring the larvae grow fast, pupating in April and emerging as butterflies in May.

£12.95
Marsh Fritillary aurinia EGG MASS
Availability: New orders June 2022


Marsh Fritillary Eurodryas aurinia 

It's a very long time since we have been able to offer egg masses. Each mass should produce 100-200 larvae. Amazing value!

They feed low amongst the leaves of Devil’s Bit Scabioius, but will also eat Honeysuckle. Honeysuckle starts leafing very early in the year, especially where sheltered in woodland. By February it is not diffficult to find enough foodplant to keep caterpillars well fed.  In captivity the larvae are recorded as accepting Ribwort Plantain Plantago lanceolata, Teasel Dipsacus and Snowberry Symphoricarpos.

Cage or sleeve the larvae on growing foodplant, kept out of doors in a spot sheltered from extreme wind, but open to all weather, including frost, rain and snow. This is what winter throws at them in the wild, and they are adapted to it.

After waking in the spring the larvae grow fast, pupating in April and emerging as butterflies in May.

£24.95
Glanville Fritillary cinxia 10 larvae
Availability: April 2022



Glanville Fritillary Melitaea cinxia

Feed on Narrow-leaved Plantain. Easiest to keep on potted foodplant, enclosed in a sleeve. The larvae are gregarious, living in a tight bunch at the base of the plant, and spreading out more as they grow larger. The ginger head capsule and jet black body distinguish these larvae from other species. 

In Britain this species lives mainly on the Isle of Wight coast, but they have been established elsewhere in Britain. Maybe they could be encouraged in more localities.

These larvae will produce butterflies this spring.

£12.95
IRISH Marsh Fritillary aurinia Egg Batch
Availability: May


Irish Marsh Fritillary Eurodryas aurinia

Very hard to obtain: some available NOW!

We are taking orders now for whole egg batches of Irish Marsh Firtillary, for delivery in May/June. To rear these you need growing plants (potted or wild) of Devil’s Bit Scabious. The larvae also feed on Honeysuckle. Normally the larvae form a web in which they pass the winter. It may be possible to keep them warm and produce butterflies this year, but this should only be attempted by experienced breeders.

£49.95