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

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Spurge Hawk H euphorbiae 15 eggs
Availability: July/August


Spurge Hawk  Hyles euphorbiae

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.

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 clusters near the tips. The larvae are also reported to feed on Sorrel Rumex, Knotgrass Polygonum, Grape Vine, Dog's Mercury Mercurialis and Willowherbs Epilobium

The dormant pupae are kept cool for the winter. Adults emerge in June/July. Provide nectar flowers and potted Spurge plants for egg-laying.

 

£16.95
Oleander Hawk nerii 15 eggs
Availability: Summer


Oleander Hawk Daphnis nerii 

One of the finest of all Hawkmoths. The larvae are very fast growing indeed and they consume a lot of food. It is often possible to have the larvae from hatching to pupation in little more than a month.

Larvae thrive on Privet and can be reared on Periwinkle Vinca. Suitable for winter or summer rearing. Oleander Nerium is a natural foodplant but it is often tough and leathery, so the alternives are usually better than Oleander.

 

£12.95
Kentish Glory, versicolora eggs SPECIAL PRICES
Availability: From March 2021


Kentish Glory  Endromis versicolora

The Eggs are the first of the season to be laid and are sent from February.  They are yellow when laid, later turning maroon in colour, matching the twigs they are laid on.
This species is now found only in Scotland, and parts of Central Europe.  Our stock is European.

Keep the eggs cool, even refrigerated, until you have the first leaves of foodplant. Birch is the normal foodplant, but the larvae can also be reared on Hazel, Alder, Hornbeam, and Lime. Rearing of Kentish Glory larvae is very easy, indoors or outside, and they do particularly well sleeved on their foodplant.

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 soil and settle down until the new season starts again in February. This is a very easy species. 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. Provide twigs of foodplant, on which to lay. At this time there are no leaves. Just leave the moths together pairing and egg-laying take place naturally.

Our thanks to Jens Stolt who has kindly allowed us to use his beautiful illustration of the life history of this rare species.

Convolvulous Hawk convolvuli 10 larvae
Availability: September/October


Convolvulous Hawkmoth Herse convolvuli 

The moths have started breeding. Larvae will follow next month.  Not available every year: these are very special! 

Huge caterpillars: fascinating to rear.  The pupa has a curious proboscis, like a jug handle. Feeds at dusk, Tobacco plants, Petunia, Lillies and Phlox.

Larval Foodplants: Convolvulus, Field Bindweed, Hedge Bindweed, some Morning Glories.

Best reared in Plastic Rearing Containers: see the advice at the heading of that section of the WWB website. Keep at about 25 degrees C. The paper lining and food must be changed EVERY day. Food needs to be very fresh at all times. When larger the larvae may need this change twice a day, due to their productivity!

£12.95
Jersey Tiger quadripunctaria 10 larvae
Availability: Late summer


Jersey Tiger Moth Euplagia quadripunctaria

 

A very active and exotic European tiger moth, which occurs in a very small area of the  south-west of Britain, the Torbay area, as well as in Europe. The larvae feed on Hemp Agrimony, Dandelion, Forgetmenot, Dock, Nettle, Dead Nettle, Plantain, Bramble and other low-growing plants. The larvae, as with other Tigers, have prominent tufts of hair, and colourful markings. The hairs may give a rash on handling, but seldom do. Pupae are formed in leaf litter. 

Hibernating is achieved well on potted foodplant protected from predators by a fine net enclosing pot and plant. In spring the larvae begin to feed again and produce moths in summer.

 



 

 

£14.95
Cinnabar Moth Hipocrita jacobaeae 15 larvae
Availability: August


Cinnabar Moth Hipocrita jacobaeae

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 can help this species back from danger of disappearing.

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.

 

£12.95
Puss Moth vinula 15 eggs
Availability: June


Puss Moth Cerura vinula 

An ideal beginner's species and an old favourite for the connoisseur. Larvae change frequently and become one of the strangest creatures. Curious forked tail with long red flagellae when disturbed. Foodplants are Poplars and Willows.

The caterpillar spins a concrete-hard cocoon of chewed bark, mixed into its own silk, producing a cocoon that is so camouflaged that it is very hard to see - see the picture - VERY hard to see! 

£16.95
Vapourer Moth antiqua eggs.
Availability: Autumn


Vapourer Moth Orgyia antiqua

 Eggs are laid by the wingless female in a batch on the cocoon, where they pass the winter and hatch in spring. 

Very interesting both for its moth and its very attractive and colourful caterpillar. Winter eggs are supplied for storage in the cool until spring. The larvae normally hatch in May/June or later, and feed on a wide variety of trees, which include Hawthorn, Willows and Sallows, most fruit trees, Hazel, Rose, Lime and Oak. The larvae are beautifully patterned and coloured, and decorated by prominent shaving brush-like tufts. The cocoon is spun amongst the foodplant.

The male moth is delicate, chestnut brown, with prominent feathered antennae, which are used to detect the wingless female, who emerges from the cocoon and rests on it, calling for a male. She lays her egg batch all over the cocoon where the eggs remain through the winter ready to start off the next generation.

 

Pine Arches Moth Panthea coenobita 15 eggs or 10 larvae
Availability: Summer


Pine Arches Moth Panthea coenobita 15 eggs or 10 larvae according to availability

It has been years since this species has been available. A Noctuid that has characteristics akin to the Tussocks. The caterpillar is beautifully coloured and patterned with tufts and tussocks of hair, giving it excellent camouflage on the twigs of its foodplants which are Pines Pinus, Spruces Abies and Larches Larix.

Coenobita is relatively unknown and few breeders have raised it. The species is found over many parts of Europe, excluding Britain, Spain and most of France. Its range extends to the Far East.

 

£12.95
Emperor Moth pavonia 15 eggs
Availability: Spring 2021


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.


 
 

 

£12.95
Ligurian Emperor Saturnia pavoniella 15 eggs
Availability: April/May


Ligurian Emperor Saturnia pavoniella 

Although similar to our Emperor Moth pavonia, pavoniella is slightly larger and, in the male, has a much paler band on the hindwing inner margin. There are other differences in appearance and the intensity of pattern, particularly in the male.

Large larvae are quite distinct from those of pavonia. Foodplants are the same as for pavonia and include Apple, Plum, Blackthorn, Bramble, Hawthorn, Heather, WIllow, Birch, and many others. Pavoniella females pair several times (pavonia only once). Progeny of hybrids of pavonia with pavoniella are infertile, which indicates that pavoniella is a true species. Pavoniella is found in central Europe, extending south to Greece and for some distance into Turkey and well into Asia Minor.

£12.95
Tau Emperor Aglia tau Eggs
Availability: Spring 2021


Tau Emperor Moth Aglia tau 15 eggs 

 This European Silkmoth flies in early spring and is one of the Silkmoths (Saturniidae).  

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. Single brooded. Rearing in sleeves is very successful. The larvae pupate amongst litter on the ground.

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. 

Highly recommended.