Frequently Asked Questions
How does a Butterfly Release work?
We ship live butterflies to you in a variety of packaging options for you to release. Our butterflies are shipped to arrive the day before your event and all necessary care and release instructions will be included. We offer two types of butterfly releases, an Individual Butterfly Release and a Mass Butterfly Release:
Individual Butterfly Release: The butterflies will be shipped in individual containers. Once you are ready to release the butterflies, pass them out to your guests and each guest can release their own butterfly! Additionally, the guest can keep the individual container as a keepsake from your butterfly release.
Mass Butterfly Release: The butterflies will arrive packaged together in a decorative mass release container. When you are ready to release the butterflies, simply pull the lid off the top of the mass release container (there are a variety of color combinations to choose from) and they will all fly out.
How does temperature affect the butterflies?
How do I order my butterflies for release?
Why do Monarch butterflies cost more?
Where do you ship your butterflies to?
When should I place my butterfly release order?
How many butterflies should I order?
For a Mass Release of Monarchs, a good rule of thumb is 1 butterfly for every 3 guests.
For a Mass Release of Painted Ladies, a good rule of thumb is 1 butterfly for every 2 guests.
This is due to the fact that the Monarch is a larger butterfly than the Painted Lady and fewer Monarchs will have the same visual impact as more Painted Ladies.
For Individual butterfly releases, you should order 1 butterfly per guest.
The average butterfly release order size is 4 dozen butterflies.
When will I receive my butterflies for release?
What if I need to modify my order?
We will always do our best to accommodate changes.
Modifications of Shipping address: Must be made at least 48 hours prior to shipment. It is your responsibility to ensure we have received by both phone and email any changes to your shipping address.
Modifications of Order: (Such as event date, quantity of butterflies, release method and personalization). Must be made and submitted by both phone and email at least 7 days prior to the date of your release. We are unable to make such modifications with less notice with the exception of increasing the number of butterflies in your order (subject to last minute availability).
As a rule of thumb, orders and modifications should be made with as much advanced notice as possible.
How do you ship your butterflies and how do they survive?
Do you guarantee your alive butterflies for release and do you include extra butterflies?
How do I care for them?
There is no need to worry! The care instructions are simple. A copy is included with every order and they are available online.
They do not need to be fed or refrigerated. Try to disturb them as little as possible to keep them dormant.
When and how do I release my butterflies?
Butterfly releases should always occur during the daytime with at least 2 hours remaining before sunset. Butterflies do not fly at night. If they are released too late during the day, they may fly sluggishly or not at all.
- On a cooler day (60-74 degrees), leave your packaged butterflies outside in a shaded area for ~1 hour
- On a warmer day (75+ degrees), leave your packaged butterflies outside in a shaded area for ~30 minutes
These instructions are designed to be followed for both Mass and Individual Releases.
NEVER leave your butterflies in direct sunlight or in a non air-conditioned vehicle.
What happens to the butterflies after the butterfly release, do they stay around the release area?
The butterflies are well known to linger around the release area for a few hours. In-fact, some stick around for weeks if the surrounding environment has their host plants. The released butterflies will fly around until they find suitable plants, where they will continue on with their lives. Since we ship butterflies only to states with native butterfly populations, our butterflies will be naturally accustomed to the local environment.
Is it okay to release butterflies into the environment?
Yes! We ship butterflies to locations that already have native populations of the same species. For example, we do not ship Monarch butterflies west of the Continental Divide (California for example) due to genetic variations between Eastern and Western Monarch butterflies. The Painted Lady butterflies live naturally in every state within the continental United States and Alaska. Additionally the USDA requires all shippers of live butterflies to maintain shipping permits. Butterfly Releases by S has all proper documentation on file and is available by customers upon request.
What if I need to cancel my order?
Please read our Terms of Sale for complete details.
Can I return my live butterflies for a refund?
We will not and do not accept the return of any live butterflies.
How can I get good photos of my live butterfly release?
Butterflies are cold-blooded creatures. Keeping them cool is the key to taking amazing photographs of them wherever you want. Follow these simple steps:
1. Refrigerate the desired butterflies for about 30 minutes.
2. Quickly take the hibernated butterfly and place them where you intend to take the photo.
3. As the butterfly warms, it will start to stand up and flap its wings slowly. You will have a solid minute to take pictures before the butterfly flies away, so have your camera ready!