Each Monarch Rearing Kit contains fourteen to sixteen first to third instar monarch larvae (caterpillars) and rearing instructions. The larvae arrive in small cups and must be transferred to milkweed plants or leaves to feed. Please make sure you have fresh milkweed available before your caterpillars arrive. Each caterpillar generally needs 18 inches of milkweed to pupate. Pupation will occur in about 10 days and adults will emerge 10-14 days after pupation. These butterflies can be used for classroom instruction, student projects or to start a classroom breeding population.
Kits are shipped via UPS Next Day Air for delivery Tuesday through Friday. We cannot guarantee a specific delivery date. However, we do our best to fill all of the orders each week. If for any reason there is a chance your kit(s) will not be delivered the week that you requested, you will be notified via email (if provided) by Thursday of the requested week.
We are not responsible for packages that are delivered to receiving departments, delayed in delivery to the intended recipient, or are left unattended at a residence. Please provide an appropriate delivery address and make arrangements for someone to accept your package.
You must have fresh milkweed for your caterpillars. Please make sure you have a fresh, uncontaminated source before your caterpillars are shipped. We are not responsible for caterpillar mortality due to inappropriate or contaminated food sources.
Ordering Rearing Kits
Our Rearing Kits are available for pre-order starting in the spring and ending sometime in October. We provide the ship weeks available on the product page in a "Week" drop-down box. You may order any time after the kits go up for sale in the spring, even if you choose a ship week months later. Our lab generally accepts orders for a particular week until about 2 weeks prior to that ship week. This is to help ensure that we have enough larvae on hand at any given time to fulfill the orders placed. We do our best to fulfill every order for the requested week.
Monarch Watch Caterpillar Guarantee
If the majority of your caterpillars do not arrive alive or perish within 48 hours of their arrival, we will replace the caterpillars or credit your account. Unfortunately, some caterpillars die due to shipping and handling. We have included a few extra caterpillars to increase the likelihood you will have a successful experience.
Monarchs require special care and we cannot guarantee that all of your caterpillars will become butterflies. In the wild, only a small percentage of the larvae survive disease, parasites, and predation to become adults. If you follow the directions included with your kit, the majority of your caterpillars should become butterflies.
You must notify us within 72 hours of your package delivery (including weekends) that you experienced caterpillar mortality problems by calling 800-780-9986. Please include your name, invoice/order number, the date you received your shipment, and a description of the condition of the diet, caterpillars, and the shipping package. In addition, please describe the rearing conditions and the source of milkweed used to feed the larvae.
We can't be responsible for the use of inappropriate food plants or rearing conditions. After this 72-hour period, we reserve the right to deny your request for replacements or credit. We are not responsible for packages and caterpillars left unattended.