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What is a butterfly release?

A butterfly release is exactly what it sounds like. You will receive live butterflies shipped directly to you. We offer a variety of release methods and options. You may release your butterflies in one of two ways: individually or from a mass release box.

Individual Release: The butterflies are released separately. We ship the butterflies to you in release envelopes which you can hand out to your guests. One butterfly will be packaged in each envelope.

Mass Release Box: All the butterflies are released together at once from a decorative box. We ship the butterflies ready to release within a mass release box. Simply remove the lid when you are ready to release them and they will fly out!

How does weather affect my butterfly release?

Butterflies love the warmth and sunlight. Butterflies will not fly if it is too cold, raining or dark. The minimum temperature for Monarch butterflies is 55 degrees Fahrenheit; for Painted Ladies, the minimum temperature is 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Click here for Average Monthly Temperatures in your area (enter your zip code at the top). The butterflies should be released at least 2 hours before sunset. We understand weather can be unpredictable, which is why we allow for weather related cancellations. Please read our Terms of Service for complete details.

How may I place an order for release?

You may order your butterflies online, over the phone, over email, or through our chat window below. We’d love to hear from you and help you with your order of live butterflies. See our Contact Us page.

Why are Painted Lady butterflies less expensive?

Painted Lady butterflies are simply easier to breed than Monarch butterflies, which reduces cost.

What do your butterflies look like?

Please check out our Images page for great photos.

What states do you ship your butterflies to?

Painted Lady butterflies can be shipped to the lower 48 states. Monarchs can be shipped East of the Rocky Mountains, except NY.

How far in advance should I place my order for live butterflies?

We recommend at least 4 weeks in advance to ensure butterfly availability (or even earlier during the summer months). Although we can generally accept short-notice orders, we cannot guarantee short-notice availability. Please Contact Us to verify availability, especially if your event is within 3 days from when you place your order.

What is your recommended quantity of butterflies to order?

If you are planning a mass release:
Monarchs: at least 1 butterfly for every 3 guests.
Painted Ladies: at least 1 butterfly for every 2 guests.

If you are planning an individual release:
We recommend 1 butterfly for each guest, to allow for full guest participation.

What is the average order quantity?

The average monarch butterfly order is 36 butterflies.
The average painted lady butterfly order is 48 butterflies.

When will my butterfly release package arrive?

We generally time your butterflies to arrive 1 day before your scheduled release, usually arriving between 10AM and noon. Please refer to the following:

For releases occurring Wednesday to Saturday, your butterflies will arrive the day before release.

For releases occurring Sunday, your butterflies will arrive on Friday.

If your release occurs on a Monday or Tuesday, due to shipping issues and butterfly health, we no longer support delivery. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Does someone need to be home to receive the butterflies?

Yes. This is in order to ensure that there are no delivery-related delays. If nobody is able to receive the package, please contact us. We can have the package held at a local shipping facility or delivered to another address, such as a neighbor or a workplace.

Am I able to modify my butterfly release order?

Yes. We can accommodate most changes as long as the request is made at least 72 hours in advance. The more advanced notice we receive, the more likely we are able to accommodate.

How will my butterflies arrive?

You will receive a parcel from us (via UPS or FedEx) at least 1 day prior to your release. They will be prepackaged in your desired release method. We ship them in an insulated cooler, keeping them in a hibernated state during their journey. This ensures a successful arrival and release… Guaranteed!

What is your butterfly guarantee? Are extra butterflies included?

We guarantee that you will receive vibrant and healthy butterflies for release. We always include an extra butterfly (or more) in the unusual event that one should perish. If there is a problem with your order, please contact us ASAP and we will make every effort to rectify any situation in accordance with our Terms of Service.

Do I need to do anything special for my butterflies, such as feeding them?

Our instructions are easy to follow and you may view them online here. There is no need to feed the butterflies as we do that prior to shipment.

How do I release my butterflies?

When the butterflies are released, will they linger around the release area or simply fly away?

They love to linger around the release area. Please note, if releasing them on a beach, they tend to fly away faster, so have your camera ready!

How long will my butterflies live after release?

Our butterflies live for an average of 2-3 weeks, sometimes longer. Monarch butterflies have been documented to live for several months during their migratory journey from Canada to Mexico every winter.

Can your butterflies be released into the environment?

Yes. We follow USDA guidelines on where our butterflies can be shipped. It is completely permissible and safe to release them into the environment.

Am I able to cancel my order?

In many cases yes. Please refer to the TOS for details.

Am I able to return my butterflies?

No, we do not accept any returns.

How do I take a great photo of the butterflies before they fly away?

Follow these three simple steps for an amazing photograph.

1. Cool down the desired butterflies. Use the insulated cooler that they arrived in, place a frozen ice-pack back in the cooler along with the butterflies you want to get images of. Leave them in the cooler for approximately 30 minutes.

2. Once they are cool, they will be dormant. Quickly take a butterfly out of a release envelope and place it where you want to take the picture. Use caution if you are attempting to remove a butterfly from a mass-release box or are trying to take a picture of the butterflies inside the mass-release box!

3. The butterfly will slowly warm up to the ambient temperature, giving you 1-2 minutes to take pictures before they fly away.