SPRING and SUMMER PUPAE You can order these NOW in advance

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Glanville Fritillary cinxia 10 pupae
Availability: Spring 2022

Glanville Fritillary Melitaea cinxia

The larvae feed on Narrow-leaved Plantain, and live in a cluster until large. These pupae will produce butterflies in a short time.

Heath Fritillary athalia PUPAE
Availability: Spring 2021

Heath Fritillary Melicta athalia

Pupae very seldom offered and these are available NOW. These will hatch in June/July.

Common in parts of Europe, and a rare and very localised species in Britain.  The larvae thrive on narrow-leaved Plantain Plantago  and bear a remarkable resemblance to its flowerheads.  July/August larvae will normally hibernate, but if kept in warm conditions, some may grow and produce butterflies again this year.



Camberwell Beauty antiopa pupae
Availability: Summer

Camberwell Beauty Nymphyalis antiopa

We cannot be sure of obtaining this species every year, but we have several sources who expect to have them and it's wise to book ahead.

Camberwell Beauty larvae feed on Sallow Salix caprea, Willows, Birch and some other trees. The larvae are gregarious nearly until pupation when they are most handsome with long  branched spines and wonderful contrasting red  blotches on the black ground colour. 






Apatura metis  Two pupae (sex not guaranteed)
Availability: From June onwards

Freyer’s Purple Emperor Apatura metis

 Apatura metis is a scarce species from eastern Europe, across to Palaearctic Far Eastern countries. It is associated with watery places where its foodplant Salix alba White Willow grows.

PUPAE have never before been available. A great opportunity for the experience, photographic possibility, and the best way to have a perfect specimen.

 With some subtle differences of marking, although a touch smaller, at first sight this rare species has much in common with Apatura ilia and its orange form Apatura ilia clytie. There are different colour forms.

 The larvae are best sleeved on growing Willows, which can be planted outside, or potted.  They may well take other species of Salix , including Basket Willow S. viminalis.  The June larvae will produce butterflies this year. The pupae will be formed in the sleeve, dramatically camouflaged amongst the foliage. August larvae can be hibernated outside in sleeves.

Small Copper phlaeas 5 pupae
Availability: Summer

Small Copper Butterfly Lycaena phlaeas

 The pupae of this species are seldom offered. The larvae feed on common Dock and Sorrel. 

Large Copper dispar batavus 5 pupae
Availability: Jun/Jul

Large Copper Butterfly Lycaena dispar batavus  

This is the large and richly coloured Large Copper which originated from Freisland in Holland and closely resembles the extinct British Large Copper.  Common Dock is an acceptable foodplant, though if you have their natural foodplant Great Water Dock, that is even better. They can be reared in plastic boxes on fresh foodplant that is changed daily, but they do best, and are less trouble if you can pot up young fresh plants and keep the larvae on these, either in cages or covered with a sleeve. The larvae grow fast. Pupae are formed on the stems or sides of the cage. The first sight of the newly emerged butterflies is absolutely breath-taking! July larvae may produce another partial brood if kept warm. Otherwise they go into hibernation.

 This species has now become very difficult to obtain. 



Common Blue icarus 5 pupae
Availability: Aug/Sep

The Common Blue Polyommatus icarus


This Blue is probably the most wide-spread of all the Blues.  The bright sky-blue of the male is familiar to most people.  The larvae feed on Birdsfoot Trefoil, Medick, Rest Harrow and other Leguminosae. Larvae are expected in July/August.

Adonis Blue bellargus 5 pupae
Availability: Late summer

The Adonis Blue Lysandra bellargus

The intense blue iridescence of the male is unmatched in Europe. The female has a rich burnt umber colouring.  To raise the larvae you need Horseshoe vetch Hippocrepis comosa, a low-growing plant, covered with yellow flowers in May, requiring calcareous soil.  The larvae, which will also feed on Coronilla, feed rapidly and pupate among the base of the foodplant.  In Britain the Adonis is double brooded, the adults flying in June and August.

Deathshead Hawk atropos pupae
Availability: Summer

Deathshead Hawkmoth Acherontia atropos Pupae

This is a very popular species! The exact number available for currently booked orders depends on success rate when the underground pupae have hardened and are harvested at the end of December 2020. New orders will be booked for supply from the next generation in 2021.

These pupae can be incubated now or kept dormant until the spring. The larvae feed on many plants in the potato family, Solanaceae, but you don’t have to have these to keep the larvae, they do well on Privet. They have also been found feeding on Buddleia, resulting in a pale coloured larva that matches the leaves. The duration of the egg stage is just a few days, and the larvae grow probably twice as fast as our native hawkmoth larvae, completing their life cycle in as little as 4-6 weeks in summer temperatures.

The moth is just amazing to have alive on your hand! It is furry, and squeaks – almost like handling a little mammal. It also humps its back and displays the blue markings on the body, as well as the famous skull and crossbones on the thorax. The moth needs to feed, not from flowers but from a pad soaked in weak honey or sugar solution. They will seldom feed themselves: it is necessary to hold each moth firmly and, with a strong setting needle, guide the short mouth tube into the sweet feeding pads. They will resist the handling, but once the proboscis samples the sweet solution, they usually coninue feeding of their own accord for some time. The moths may need this assistance repeatedly every few days. Moths have been found inside beehives, attracted by the sweet smell of honey. 

In winter moths may be produced before spring if the pupae are kept warm.  To overwinter, 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. When the pupae are to be incubated, keep them warm (20-30 degrees C) and moist, and well drained. The ideal conditions are as described for the Pupae Nest on the WWB website.

Oleander Hawk nerii Pupae
Availability: Summer 2021

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.

Madagascan Moon Moth mittrei  giant cocoons
Availability: Summer

Madagascan Moon Moth Argema mittrei

Huge netted cocoons of silvery silk – THE biggest cocoon in the world! 

Both male and female moths are tailed but those of the male are very extreme. They are a joy to hatch out! 

They need daily spraying and a temperature of 25-30 degrees C.  Pairing of the adults is notoriously difficult but if successful, the larvae are not difficult to rear on Eucalyptus, Liquidambar or Stags Horn Sumach Rhus typhinus.  Hand-pairing has been reported to be successful but we have not tried it.

Mittrei is found only on the island of Madagascar and is quite one of the word's most exceptional moths.

Giant Atlas Moth Attacus atlas cocoons from Thailand
Availability: June/July onwards

Giant Atlas Moth Attacus atlas

Atlas cocoons have become very difficult to obtain, particularly the dormant Thailand race, but we have good stocks immediately available, for breeding soon or they can be held cool until you wish to breed from them

The largest moth in the world.  Winter cocoons are dormant. You can choose whether to incubate them or keep them cold until the spring. To get them to emerge, raise the temperature to 15 degrees C, and gradually up to 30 degrees C or more, and very humid. They need very warm and humid tropical conditions. When hot, soak the cocoons at least once or twice daily. 

It is probably better to keep them cool (8 -12 degrees C) and dormant until mid-April, or even May, then raise the temperature and humidity as described above.  They will respond better to summer conditions.

Pairing is achieved in a cage that is ample for the size of the moths but not so large that they can become too separated.

Larvae feed on Privet Ligustrum and are easily reared in warm and moist conditions.  Atlas larvae will also feed on Tree of Heaven Ailanthus, Osier Willow Salix viminalis, Citrus and undoubtedly a number of other substitute plants outside their normal habitat.