NOTE: The difficulty meter is EXTREMELY SUBJECTIVE, and based on the experience of one person only (me, Bart Coppens). There is no such thing as objective difficulty; and how hard it is to breed a certain species also depends on how familiar you are with the species in question, your breeding experience, and your geographical location!
If you are in a hot and dry place, say a desert like Arizona or New Mexico – then it will be very easy to breed species from there, since you live in the perfect climate and can provide them with the conditions they require. But it will be harder for you to breed species that are from humid areas like the neotropics, since the dry air can easily dessicate your livestock if exposed to it without climate control! If you are from Japan, breeding Japanese butterflies and moths will be much easier than for everybody else – people in America and Europe will struggle to find host plants and give them substitutes that may not be ideal for them. The author of this website lives in the Netherlands. The measurement scale is here to encourage you or discourage you from breeding certain species if you are not sure – but it cannot be used as objective measurement. Please do not accept these ratings as a fact, or as a way to gain ‘bragging rights’: they are both to encourage and discourage people from breeding, and find species that are appropriate for their level of experience, confidence and knowledge. The best place to raise a moth, is in its natural habitat. The entire difficulty from breeding, comes from the fact we are trying to give these insects the conditions that they require in the wild, but that we don’t have in captivity. If you are trying to breed a local species that is native to your area, you can deduct some points from the difficulty rating., since you already have the optimal environment and food plants.
Extremely easy – This rating means that breeding this species could not have been easier in any other way – even people with no experience with keeping Lepidoptera at all can do it with great succes and little effort, and that it would be harder to fail than to succeed at breeding this species.
Very easy – This rating means that this species is one of the easiest to breed species available in the hobby, and that succes almost always can be guaranteed if one follows the basic instructions and requirements needed for breeding it, even if you have no experience with Lepidoptera at all in your life.
Easy – This means that this species is extremely easy to breed – even for beginners with minimal experience. If you follow the instructions of caresheets, succes is nearly guaranteed and it is easy to provide for the basic needs of this species.
Simple – This rating means that this species is easy to breed – but you will need a little experience and basic knowledge of moths to be succesful, but not much else. It is easy to be succesful if you put in the effort of meeting the basic requirements for this species.
Average – This rating means that this species is not hard to breed, but you will need some experience with Lepidoptera or just common sense when it comes to insects to be succesful. While it is not hard to be succesful, you will still need to put in a little effort to be able to make it, although it is not hard to provide the basic needs of this species.
Moderate – This rating means that this species is more difficult than average to breed, and you will need to understand the biology of this species and immerse yourself in their life cycle in order to be succesful. You will need all the basic knowledge and experience. While it is not hard to be succesful, you will need to do a little research in order archieve succes.
Challenging – This rating means that this species is challening to breed, and that you will need some advanced experience in order to be succesful. This species can be picky or sensitive, and livestock may quickly die or struggle if the conditions are not met. It also means that succes is never guaranteed with this species, even for experienced breeders, since they can be prone to death.
Hard – This means that this species is hard to breed, and that you will probably need to have a lot of experience in order to be succesful. This species will be hard to keep alive, even for the most experienced breeders and that it is hard to be succesful with them.
Extremely hard – This means that this species is extremely hard to breed, and that you will need extensive experience just to keep them alive. Even the most experienced and knowledgeable people will struggle to breed this species, although it is possible to do so if you have studied them well.
Nearly impossible – This rating means that it is possible to breed the species in theory, although it is nearly impossible in practice, and (almost) nobody has done so before with succes. This could be because it is a species with extraordinary needs that can hardly be met in captivity, or because they are very sensitive to certain conditions and very hard to keep alive. Even experts fail at breeding it. In order to breed it, you will have to push past the limits all currently available knowledge, and come up with a solution nobody has thought of or tried before.
Mysterious – This rating means that I have no clue what to rate them, because either I have A) not completed the lifecycle myself, so I have not experienced the “complete” picture and cannot rate it, or because B) This species has such a weird and unique biology that is different from all other Lepidoptera, that it is impossible to compare it with all other species I have bred.