The butterfly is a symbol of rebirth, transformation and good fortune. This recognition as an icon of resurrection and good fortune has made the release of live butterflies a very popular attraction at events such as weddings and memorials. The trend of butterfly releases is by far the largest market for live butterflies, although they are sold in smaller quantities to schools, universities and private owners. Purchasing live butterflies can be simple task, as long as you know what you are looking for.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Warm Air Humidifier
- Fine Mesh Netting
Decide what you will be using the butterflies for. If you are purchasing them for an event, you will need a large quantity of butterflies. If you are a private owner, a smaller number will be more appropriate.
Select a species of butterfly. Most butterfly breeders raise Monarchs for large events such as wedding releases, although you can also purchase smaller species such as Painted Ladies. Private butterfly owners have a wider selection of species, so choose carefully before contacting a breeder.
Prepare your holding area before ordering your butterflies. The holding area needs to be kept at a consistent temperature between 21.1 and 26.6 degrees C and needs to be free of drafts. A warm air humidifier is also advisable to keep the air moist to help the butterflies thrive. If you will be keeping individual butterflies, you can also set up a small habitat made of fine mesh to allow them room to fly but prevent them from injuring themselves.
Contact a butterfly breeder to discuss your plans for purchase. It can be a challenge to find a breeder in your area, but your local university, zoo, or museum should be able to point you in the right direction. You can also contact the International Butterfly Breeders Association for local breeder listings.
Place your butterfly order during the correct season for best results. Chrysalises typically hatch from February to September in warm climates, although this can vary slightly with local weather patterns. Many breeders will take orders during the off season, but you will need to follow up with the breeder to make sure your butterflies get delivered in a timely fashion.
Move your butterflies to the holding area as soon as they arrive. Live release butterflies will come packaged in a special carton that can simply be opened on your release date, making them very low maintenance. Individual butterflies can be set up in the habitat for the duration of their life cycle.
How to Purchase Live Butterflies
Tips and warnings
- Make sure you are available on the day your butterflies are delivered. It is vital that you get them from the delivery vehicle to their stable habitat as soon as possible to minimise losses due to stress.
- Never allow other animals to disturb your butterflies. Too much activity or stress can injure or even kill delicate butterflies, so keeping them as quiet as possible will yield the best results.
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