Here's How It Works.

The day before your event, you will receive a box via UPS Next Day Air. The shipping box is insulated with ice packs keeping the butterflies in a cold dormant (sleep-like) state. Inside the shipping box each butterfly is resting and carefully contained in its own packaging designed to protect the butterfly in shipping. Simply store the butterflies in the shipping container indoors in a cool location and then 2-3 hours before release, take them out so that they have time to warm up. Instructions are included. Find out answers to commonly asked questions about the painted lady and monarch butterfly.

For local customers who would like to pick up their orders - please click HERE for  ordering instructions.

The Individual Release.

Our most popular release option: the individual butterfly release packaging. At the appropriate time before or during the wedding, memorial, or other type of special event, the individual butterfly release boxes are passed out to the guests or participants. When the special moment arrives, all participants open their release boxes witnessing the majesty of the painted lady and monarch butterfly. These beautiful butterflies joyfully emerge and dance in flight to the delight and amazement of everyone!

We offer a variety of individual release box options. Standard butterfly release boxes (as seen in image to the left) are included FREE! Most companies charge extra for release boxes. Please see the BUYERS BEWARE! section by clicking on the link.

Click here to see an instructional video on how to do an Individual Butterfly Release. 

Note - we are the ONLY company that ships Painted Lady butterflies in individual boxes!

monarch butterfly on decorative release box

The Mass Release.

Another way to release butterflies is all from one container - called a "Mass Release." Please see our assortment of mass release butterfly packaging. The butterflies will be shipped in special protective packaging (called "transfer envelopes") so that the butterflies arrive in perfect condition for your wedding, funeral, memorial or other type of butterfly release event. Transferring the butterflies from the protective packaging into the mass release container is both easy and fun! Butterfly transfer instructions will be provided.

Please view our instructional video showing how to easily transfer the butterflies into a mass release container.

Mass release of live butterflies - monarchs and painted ladies!

Don't worry.

Each hand-raised butterfly is fed, packaged, and ready to be released. No growing or feeding is required. All butterflies are guaranteed to be alive and healthy due to our Flight Proven™ Technology and other special methods we use to ensure that our premium live monarch and painted lady butterflies arrive to you healthy and ready to fly. We normally include 1 extra butterfly per dozen "just in case." We are the Original Butterfly Company and we fully guarantee our butterflies. We are a large production facility so we have constant and steady production, which allows us to be able to take most last-minute orders!.

When Should I Place My Order?

We realize not all situations allow enough notice - especially for funerals or memorials. So, we are normally able to take orders even up until the last moment. However, reservations can be made up to a year in advance. Placing your order as early as possible ensures that your butterflies will be available. We do not have a cut-off date for reservations, however we HIGHLY recommend ordering as early as possible to ensure a secured reservation, especially for weddings or other planned events.  We occasionally sell out 4 to 6 weeks prior to the event.  However, we can usually fill orders even at the last minute.  So, please call for availability, even if your event is the NEXT DAY - we just may be able to get the butterflies to you. Call our office at 1-888-441-4902.

How Many Butterflies Should I Order?

For the "individual butterfly release," one butterfly for every guest to release is ideal! However, if your budget does not allow for this many butterflies, we have found that releasing one butterfly per "couple" (or every other guest) will also result in an enjoyable display for releasing live butterflies. For funerals and memorials, it may be hard to predict how many people will attend. But, try to have at least one butterfly for each close family member or friend.

For a "mass butterfly release," at least 2-3 dozen monarchs butterflies is recommended and 4-5 dozen for painted ladies. Although the minimum order is 1 dozen, we recommend ordering 2 dozen or more for the optimum visual effect. Of course the more butterflies, the more visually stunning your live butterfly release will be.

Our Guarantee.

Our many years of experience (since 1993) growing live butterflies for release translates into beautifully vibrant butterflies arriving healthy and safe in special protective packages for your live butterfly release. We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and we will work hard to keep that rating. With that, we offer the best guarantee policy for live butterflies in the industry. Feel free to shop around - we are confident you will come back to us!

Cancellation Policy.

monarch butterfly with girl on box

Please click HERE for complete details of our guarantee and cancellation policy. In summary - if the weather is either too cold or too rainy for a successful butterfly release, you may cancel up to 7 days prior to your event and receive a full refund, less a 10% administrative processing fee. The forecasted high should be 65 Deg. F or greater for a successful butterfly release. Other cancellations may require a greater fee (10% minumum) based upon the amount of notice given prior to cancellation. If you are uncertain about the possible weather for your area on your event date, we advise checking the historical weather records for your area. Please note that the butterflies will need to be released no later than sunset and the temperature will need to be warm to make up for the lack of light. For sunset times in your area on your specific event date, please click HERE for more information.

Butterfly Pricing and Ordering Information.

Please check our latest specials for butterfly release pricing and information. Or, if you're ready to order now, you may go directly to our live butterfly ordering page. Or, you may call our customer service office and place your order by phone at:


Butterfly Shipping Charges and Information.

We ship all packages of live butterflies via UPS Next Day Air in a specially-designed container that keeps the butterflies dormant while in transit.  If we need to ship additional products ahead of time such as mass release cages or boxes, we will use the most economical method and we'll schedule them to arrive well before the event. Please click HERE for delivery pricing and more information about shipping live butterflies. Due to government regulations, we are unable to ship butterflies to the state of Hawaii. In addition, we are unable to ship live butterflies to any location outside of the US.

About the Painted Lady Butterfly.

The Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa cardui ) is known as one of the most common butterflies in the world. The Painted Lady butterfly's friendly and energetic flight pattern will allow your guests to witness a sky full of butterflies. Painted lady butterflies live about 4-6 weeks depending on environmental conditions. Further below are the answers to some commonly asked questions about the butterflies you will receive.

About the Monarch Butterfly.

monarch butterfly in butterfly zoo flight house

The Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is known as one of the friendliest butterflies in the world. The Monarch's elegant and graceful flight pattern will allow your guests to interact with these lovely creatures. They love to land on your or nearby flowers, allowing for great photo opportunities. For more information about the monarch butterfly and how to plant your own monarch butterfly garden, please check out the following article: A Tribute To The Monarch Butterfly: How to Turn Your Backyard Into a Butterfly Friendly Habitat..

How Do They Survive Shipping?

Monarchs and Painted Ladies are very hardy creatures. The casualty rate is generally less than 1% and it is likely that all will be lively and healthy when released. The lower temperature in the shipping box puts the butterflies into a restful and comfortable "hibernation" state and they do not need to eat or even move during shipping. Also, our special Flight Proven™ Technology (see below) allows us to heartily prepare the butterflies for shipping.

Flight Proven™ Technology

This is a feeding and exercise system developed specifically to give the butterflies their maximum life potential while still keeping them as fresh as possible. Each butterfly is fed, exercised, and hand inspected to ensure quality and liveliness prior to packaging. This allows us to keep an extremely low casualty rate - less than 1%. This system was created out of over 2 decades of experience growing and breeding monarch and painted lady butterflies. When you place an order with us for live butterflies, our many years of experience and dedication to high standards are your insurance for receiving lively, healthy, and beautiful monarch and painted lady butterflies for release at your special event.

How Does Temperature and Light Affect Butterflies?

Butterflies are "cold-blooded" creatures. If it is cold, they are dull and unresponsive. As they warm up they become animated and fly quickly. The minimum temperature for flight is about 65 degrees, so it needs to be warm for them to fly well! If you are uncertain about the possible weather for your area on your event date, we advise checking the historical weather records for your area. Please note that the butterflies will need to be released prior to sunset. For sunset times in your area on your specific event date, please click HERE for more information.

What Happens To The Butterflies After They Are Released?

Painted Lady and Monarch butterflies are some of the most common butterflies in the world. They are found everywhere and can easily adapt into any environment. Painted Ladies have hundreds of hostplant species they are able to consume and so finding a habitat in your area will be easily accomplished by this amazing little creature. Monarchs have an abundance of nectar choices, however they will only lay eggs on milkweed. They have the amazing ability to locate milkweed from miles away!

Do They Stick Around After Released?

Yes! Both Painted Lady and Monarch butterflies are very "friendly" butterflies. They are fearless when they interact with people and will allow you to move in close to get a photograph and sometimes even let you pick them up. However, the Monarch butterfly is most photogenic of the two species due to their large size, color, and friendliness.

How Can I Get Good Pictures of the Butterflies?

These cold-blooded creatures can be kept in their packages and placed in a refrigerator for 20 minutes and this will slow their reactions and movement. Then they can be placed onto bridal bouquets, wedding gowns, graveside stones, or whatever you desire. You will have about 30 seconds to capture your photograph before the butterflies warm up and "re-animate" by slowly opening and closing their wings and walking at a slow pace.