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3 x Emperor Moth Saturnia Pavonia Larvae


Caterpillars 2cm to 5cm


The beautiful Emperor moth is a great insect to own and observe as it grows from tiny caterpillar to beautiful large adult moth. The Emperor is a native to the UK but to be observed in the wild you need to search for it on the heath and moorlands where its caterpillars feed on heather. In captivity the caterpillars will readily accept bramble and other food plants (see full description below).

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Caterpillars 2cm to 5cm

The stunning Emperor moth is native to the UK. The Emperor moth or Saturnia pavonia can be observed in a variety of habitats, such as heathlands, woodlands, and grasslands. They are particularly active during the evening and at night, making them a nocturnal species. Their presence is a good indicator of a healthy environment, as they are sensitive to changes in their habitat. These moths display sexual dimorphism, meaning males and females look quite different. Males are typically smaller and more brightly coloured than females. The males have vibrant orange and brown wings with eye-catching eyespots that help deter predators. In contrast, the females are larger and have more subdued grey and brown colouring, making them less conspicuous.

Like other moths and butterflies, the Emperor moth undergoes complete metamorphosis with four distinct stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Females lay eggs on various host plants, including heather, bramble, and willow. The caterpillars are initially black but later become bright green with black rings and yellow spots, making them easy to identify. They feed voraciously on the leaves of their host plants, growing rapidly.

When ready to pupate, the caterpillars spin a silk cocoon in which they will overwinter and then transform into adults. The adult moths emerge in the spring, with males typically appearing first.

Our Emperor moths are supplied as cute caterpillars which are fun to observe as they rapidly grow and transform from little black spiky larvae into stunning green stripy caterpillars. They will need a constant supply of fresh food and a clean environment in which to thrive. They should not be left without fresh food plants, they need to constantly eat. Eventually the caterpillars will spin a silk cocoon on the food plant and pupate. They can be overwintered in a cool location such as a garage if you prefer to follow their natural life cycle. If kept in a warm environment they may hatch much sooner.

Food plants include 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). Our caterpillars have been reared on bramble and it is recommended to keep this food choice since they may reject other foods that they are not accustom to. If you want them to consume other foods it is recommended to put both the food they currently eat and the new food plant in the enclosure with them and check to see if they are eating the new food.


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