Although this is not as wonderful as those boxes used by Swallowtail Farms and is definitely more work, here is a good alternative method for shipping monarch pupae. This has worked pretty well for me.

Through mail order, I purchase cotton rolls (non sterile is fine). One cotton roll which is 12″ wide and weighs about one pound is approximately $4.29. You can get these through KV Vet Supply: 1 800 423-8211.

Keep in mind that this is not BATTING or what some people call COTTON BATTING. Batting purchased at K-mart and places like that is not made of cotton. This type of batting is too stiff and airy to protect pupae.

Real cotton will absorb shock and will not allow the pupae to roll around on each layer like the regular batting will.

When I cut a piece off the roll, I can further separate the material to get two sheets out of one. I lay a few sheets down in a box, put a layer of pupae on top, then another layer of cotton, then a layer of pupae on top. You can do several layers like this. Leave lots of room around the edge of the box and put more cotton here so that there is no chance of the pupae touching the cardboard of the box. That’s it!

Melanie McCarthy
IBBA Board Member
The Monarchy