About Us

About Us

We are a family-run business, founded at the turn of the 21st century by Arnold Johnson. Arnold's initial passion for insects began in the 1950s with the collection and identification of butterflies. At the age of 16 this interest developed into a desire to breed British butterflies, firstly as a hobby and from the 1980s on a small commercial scale.

Growing increasingly dissatisfied by the range of insect cages on the market, Arnold decided to buy a sewing machine and make his own cages, offering the ideal habitat for his butterfly collecting and breeding activities. Arnold's cages proved so effective that friends and colleagues started to ask him to make cages for them, and he decided to begin commercial manufacture. The company, founded as 'Johnson Cages', soon gained a reputation for quality and price and was supplying cages for individuals, retail outlets, and research organisations both within the UK and internationally.

The business is now run by Arnold's nephew David, and David's wife Emma. Insectopia remains a family enterprise with a wealth of experience in insect cage manufacture.

Featured image: Monarch (Danaus plexippus). This beautiful, large butterfly is a rare immigrant to the UK from America. You're most likely to spot it in the West Country and Isles of Scilly.

Our Services

Our Services

Our aim is to provide a wide range of competitively priced, high quality, effective netting cages and traps for beginners and enthusiasts, schools and educationalists, and for professional researchers.

Because all our products are made by us, not imported, we are able to make items to order as long as the design can be manufactured using our standard materials. Therefore if you need an item you can't see in our usual range, please email us. We will do our utmost to meet your needs with our bespoke design service.

Here are a few comments from our customers:

"I received my order of tabletop cages and spare nets and am delighted that they are much better than others I have purchased"

"I must say how impressed we are with your ability to interpret and improve our ideas for a cage and turn them into reality"

"I received the cages this morning, and they are fantastic! Thank you so much for all your time and help, it was very much appreciated! I will definitely be shopping with the company again."

"It really is a cool bit of kit. The species list so far stands at 50 and will be higher once I do the micros. Really pleased, not the tropics, mid-Wales." [Ranger Mothtrap]

"Cages received safely, many thanks. We used to use [competitor's name withheld] cages but yours are a much better design."

Featured image: Stag beetle (family Lucanidae). There are about 1,200 species of this beetle, whose mandibles resemble the antlers of stags, hence the English common name.
Face to Face

Face to Face

Insectopia is an 'online only' shop without retail premises. However if you would like to visit us at our workshop in Austrey to view or buy our products this can generally be arranged.

Please phone 01827 830 606 before starting on your journey to check that the items you would like to see will be available, and to make an appointment.

That way when you get here, we'll already have the kettle on!

Featured image: Praying mantis (Mantis religiosa). This predatory insect is well known for its sexual cannibalism, which is commonly observed among captive specimens but less often seen in the wild.
Our Main Materials

Our Main Materials

Nylon netting - is used for all our cage and sleeve covers unless otherwise noted. It is washable, can be sterilised, is fray and ladder resistant, soft, with a fine weave, and of high transparency. For a microscopic view of our netting, please CLICK HERE, and then click again on the product photo. Field testing has shown that this netting is able to last for over 2 years of continuous UK outdoor weather exposure, with minimum colour loss.

Polyester netting - is washable, can be sterilised, is fray and ladder resistant, soft, and of high transparency. This material is even finer than our standard nylon netting and can be used for the study of extremely small organisms. For a microscopic view of our netting, please CLICK HERE, and then click again on the product photo. Please ask for a quote if you would like any of our standard products made with polyester netting.

NOTE: Please ensure that your chosen species will not chew or otherwise make holes in the netting - the likelihood of chewing can be greater if the creatures are stressed, e.g. due to overcrowding or other less than ideal conditions. We sell small samples of material for testing purposes, and recommend that if you are in any doubt that you test our material is fit for your purpose and/or consult a specialist breeder before making your main purchase. Some species may be more suited to glass or metal mesh enclosures. In some locations species can be encountered which might damage trap and cage netting e.g. aggressive biting ants, beetles, or hornets.

Super soft PVC - this item allows us to sew clear and colourless 'windows' into bespoke products, and can be selected as a rainshield panel to replace the net top of butterfly traps.

Geotextile - lightweight, rot and mildew resistant, porous, non-fraying and with good stab-puncture resistance, this offers the ideal groundsheet for our tent cage bases.

Double or single slider zipped access - where fitted with a double slider zip a small or large opening can be made at any position along the zip-line, allowing the easy addition or removal of insects, flowers, plants, or for camera use. Single slider zips allow access from one end of the cage only.

Plastic coated wire - is used to provide a rust-resistant framework for most of our cage designs. Some frames have push-fit jointed 'legs' or support rods. This ensures our cages take up minimal storage space when not in use, and also makes them easy to transport. Our cages are stable, sturdy, and yet easy to assemble or disassemble without the need for tools.

PVC board and sheeting - is used for our tabletop cage bases, and moth-trap shields. Lightweight when compared with many other products, our board is non-toxic, semi-rigid, weather resistant, and non-warping in damp conditions.

Featured image: European garden spider (Araneus diadematus). Possibly the most well known orb-weaving spider in the UK and found all over Britiain except for some areas of northern Scotland.
Payment & Discounts

Payment & Discounts

We accept payments by bank transfer (BACS) or UK cheque and PayPal. We do not accept credit or debit cards.

We are able to produce most of our products in large quantities. A discount is sometimes available on orders of 15 or more units of the same type, depending on both the type of product ordered and the total value of the order including shipping. To qualify, goods must be paid for by either bank transfer (BACS) or by cheque.

If you wish to apply for a discount, please request this when you contact us for a quote.

Featured image: Aphid (superfamily Aphidoidea). These are a destructive pest in temperate regions, feeding on the sap of phloem vessels in plants, and providing a vector for the transmission of plant disease.

Company Details

In writing:
Emma Fish, Insectopia, Rothay, Church Lane, Austrey, CV9 3EE, United Kingdom

By email:

By phone (9.30am-2.30pm, Monday to Friday):
#44 (0)1827 830 606

By fax (UK only):
07092 000 587

Insectopia is a trading name of JoTech Ltd, a company registered in England and Wales, no 6808478

NOTE: the insects and spider pictured above and on our logo illustrate a small number of the wealth of species in the UK (both in the wild and kept as pets). Not all creatures will be suited to our cage environments, and we do not advise on this matter. If in doubt, we recommend that you order a sample of our material and/or consult a specialist breeder before purchasing one of our products.