Acherontia atropos

The ova or eggs take 3- 10 days to hatch stored at room temperature. They should be kept in a small plastic tub or petri dish. Do not add any leaves as this can kill the eggs.

On hatching leave the larvae to eat the eggs shell if they want.

​The eggs are light yellow, but become darker as the caterpillars grow inside.

Larval feed on privet a very common garden hedge.

​Place kitchen roll on bottom of container, and stand the food up. This way the caterpillars are not sitting in their poo.

​Clean the tub daily removing any old food plants and replacing with new. Any food with caterpillars on place back into tub, do not try to pick them of, as this can hurt their legs.

The caterpillars are very small, when the hatch, but grow very fast.

By the time they have moulted to l3 they can be placed into a mesh pop up and the plant food placed into a jam jar with water and stones make sure the water does not come above the stones.

Larval moult usually around 4 times to instar 5. They will be still for several days before walking out of their old skins.

Once they are ready to make their cocoons, the yellow will start to turn brown and they will wonder around. You will need to put a tub of mud or ripped up tissue in cage.

They will dig down and it’s best to leave them for at least 10 days.

Then place them on tissue that’s kept slightly moist in a flight tent.

Moths when they emerge will need to be able to climb up the inside of cage to inflate its wings. Do not disturb during this time. After a few hours the males will begin to fly around in search of females.

These need to be fed a honey / water mix, I do 50/50

And you need to encourage them to feed but once they have get the hang of it will feed without help

​Then they will mate normally by hanging from cage top.

They lay the eggs on leaves or cage side. Please note if not mated the female will still lay eggs, but they will not hatch.

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