About me + FAQ

Intro
Welcome to my website!  Allow me to introduce myself – lately I’ve been recieving a lot of questions, which is why I decided to add some information about myself on this website aswell.

My name is Bart Coppens from the Netherlands. I was born on 14 June, 1993.  Even since I was a small child I’ve had a major fascination for insects. From ages 7 and beyond I used to capture caterpillars of native species and rear them to adults. From ages 16 and beyond I have been intensively breeding exotic species after discovering you can order them online.

My specialisation in moths came at a later age, when I was about 18 years old. I used to breed a lot of stick insects, mantids, and other creatures. But gradually I started replacing them with moths. They have always fascinated me the most. When I was about 21 years old, I was exclusively breeding moth species. As time goes by, I became more and more of a specialist instead of a generalist. Currently I love all kinds of moths, but my favorite are Saturniidae silkmoths, and to a lesser extent I also study Arctiinae (tiger moths), Lasiocampidae  (lappet moths),  Sphingidae (hawkmoth), and in rare cases Brahmaeidae, Megalopygidae, Epicopeiidae, Lymantriidae, Eupterotiidae. At the end of the day however, I’m willing to breed or look into most if not all obscure or unusual moths.

I started this website in 2015 when I was 21 years old, but it was more of a low quality hobby project. As time went by I started getting more and more readership, and am starting to take it more and more seriously. Currently I aim to improve the old content that I had written when I was a bit younger and more inexperienced, because I  don’t want to associate myself with low effort caresheets, but breeding them and taking pictures takes time.

I consider myself a hobbyist and not really a professional entomologist. Despite that, I have been able to discover and describe a few things that were new to science, just by breeding moths, and I’m proud of this. My goal is to produce as much knowledge as possible about these insects as I’m capable of before I die, so this may help us understand their ecology in order to preserve them.

ME IN OTHER MEDIA: 

Facebook: Click here!
Flickr: Click here!
YouTube: Click here
Patreon: Click here
Instagram: Click here
Professional website: Click here! (not finished, under construction)
Actias.de: Click here!
LinkedIn: Click here!
Researchgate: Click here!

 

FAQ

1. Where do you get your livestock?
On the internet multiple communities and distributors can be found. One particulary useful website is www.actias.de which has an international marketplace on which multiple species are offered per day. Other than that commercial webstores can be found online, like http://www.wwb.co.uk/ (world wide butterflies). Making friends with hobbyists is also an important point – for they may have eggs for sale!  In many cases, I am also able to get eggs and cocoons of species that are not for sale to the ‘general public’ or breeding community. This may be evident because of some of the unusual species that I’ve written caresheets of. The reason for that is because I also know people who collect them for me, directly from the wild. In some cases I have even obtained permits to import wildlife for my research. A lot of my insects come from private sources – they are collectors that hunt the species I want to breed, but sometimes also family and friends who find them during a nice vacation in the tropics, and can not be obtained by other means because other hobbyists or commercial breeding facilities do not breed them. If you are truly interested, I made a  video explaining where I buy all my insects (click here).

2. What do you do with dead specimens?
Since there is demand for my dead lepidopterans, I usually sell or trade them to collectors. Since I prefer to breed live insects I don’t have need for the dead ones – however one downside of breeding is that you will need to keep them alive, and as butterflies and moths age their wings will tear. So I rarely have good quality specimens since most of them die  of old age. I’m afraid that I am also not much of a commercially minded person, and it is generally rare for me to sell and ship a lot of material.

3. Is it an expensive hobby?
It is as expensive as you allow it to be. Some very commonly bred species are very easy and cheap. Like the Samia ricini (eri silkmoth) or Arctia caja (garden tiger moth) and many of the common native cabbage whites (Pieris sp.) are commonly offered at low prices and very easy to breed and don’t need a lot of  equipment. Sometimes these species are even offered for free! And they can be easily reared and bred in plastic containers or net cages.

The price range will exponentially increase with the rarity and difficulty of the species  you aim to rear. For example the Graellsia isabellae (Stained glass moth) or Argema mittrei (Comet moth) are examples of species that are a bit more on the expensive side. The most expensive are species that are rare to obtain, endemics  or protected by CITES, for which prices may range to over 20 euro per pupa!

 4. Do you release captive insects?
No no no no no!
I keep non-native (exotic) species, releasing them would be highly irresponsible.  Even if I breed native species, releasing them could still have a negative impact on the wild population for captive insects may carry negative/unfavorable traits that would have been removed due to natural selection in the wild. I’ve been asked this question more times than I’m comfortable with: despite their pretty colours, exotic species are not welcome in our ecosystem. They can do serious damage to native wildlife. If you want to help sustain the populations of butterflies and  moths in the wild, the best course of action would be to help spread their host plants! Plant host and nectar plants in your garden. They are beneficial to the species, whereas releasing captive insects could have a negative impact. If you are interested in knowing why then please read this article!

 5. Do you sell livestock? 
I don’t like selling because I have too many followers on social media (because of my Youtube, my website, Facebook etc.) that often ask me for eggs. And sometimes when I have a rare species, I get so many messages asking for eggs that is giving me a lot of stress, especially when I fail to breed them and have to dissapoint people. This ruins the fun of my hobby for me. Even when I have eggs it is often impossible to help everybody since there are not enough, and then I have dissapoint some of my friends. But I do trade species, behind the scenes – I often trade eggs or cocoons for other species that are interesting. Sometimes I do sell –  but when I do, I usually place offers on the marketplace on the sales forums of breeding communities. So I recommend taking a look there.  I prefer to trade behind the scenes against other species. Please know that I am not much of a commercial breeder, and that there is always a very high demand for my eggs, since I have a very large following on social media due to my website, my YouTube channel, my research and various social media. Please do not rely on me to sell you eggs of a certain species if you need them.

For questions:
Email: bart.coppens@hotmail.com (meight take a few days, I don’t read my mail that often, but I’m open to it!)
Facebook: Click here (Send me an inbox message – disclaimer, I get tons of messages every day and some slip past my attention or Facebook puts them in the spam box. Once again my apologies, but there is a small chance I won’t see it. I try my best to answer them all!)
And my username on Actias is “Bartmantis”.

ME IN OTHER MEDIA: 

Facebook: Click here!
Flickr: Click here!
YouTube: Click here
Patreon: Click here
Instagram: Click here
Professional website: Click here! (not finished, under construction)
Actias.de: Click here!
LinkedIn: Click here!
Researchgate: Click here!

Hopefully this website has gained your interest! Invertebrates need more respect as pets, many people underestimate their importance, beauty and diversity.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy reading my website! – Bart Coppens

VISIT THE OTHER MEDIA AND PUBLICATIONS FOR SPECIAL PROJECTS

And now for some selfies througout the years..

*scroll down to see the ultimate weirdo behind the scenes here*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The aim of this website is to provide information about many species of moths and butterflies around the world, with a slight focus on rearing them in captivity.

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