Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Growing up

Just to report that the Thrupp (Oxon) School for Emperors has graduated en masse from KS2. I have been monitoring them with the vigilance of Brian Hanrahan and the Harrier jets in the Falklands war: I counted 24 eggs when their mother overnighted, and I've now counted 24 catties into their new home.

This is like a vast comprehensive  compared with their initial ice cream box primary because I have taken on board fellow-posters' warnings about the larvae getting increasingly voracious and large. I also try to dry the hawthorn with newspaper on wet days such as today, thanks to warnings from other UTM breeders about damping off.

Final point of interest: I did look online for larva breeding boxes of the kind I used as a teenager via Watkins & Doncaster but they are not to be had at the moment. The best websites can offer is the hope of new stocks later in June. Are a lot of us caterpillar breeders about?  Martin Wainwright


  1. Hi Martin - i've reared Emperors for a few years, and yes, you do need good-sized containers to rear them in - i used old biscuit tins! Another useful tip was to rear them on Willow - much less spikey to handle than Hawthorn or Bramble! Good luck with them - they're a lot of fun, assembling in the spring!

  2. Thanks v much Dave. I really like your Scarlet Tiger pupa. I remember that phenomenon of the colours showing through in Swallowtail chrysalises on holiday in France. All warm wishes. M


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