Nurturing a butterfly caterpillar into a beautiful adult makes for memories of a lifetime. The joy of making a wish and setting a butterfly free will put a smile on the face of anyone. Watching the anticipation and excitement in the eyes of future naturalist as they wait for their winged wonder to burst forth is priceless. Choosing a name for newly emerged butterfly just may be the best of all.

In nature 9 out of 10 caterpillars will never become butterflies. Predators, parasites, broadcast spraying and habitat loss have caused decreases in the numbers of many butterfly species throughout the world. They seem to be fighting a losing battle but you can help in an ecologically sound way.

We would all love to have Zebra longwings flying around our screened porches in Minnesota or release Julias at sunset on the Cape but it may not be the best thing for the butterflies. As a safe guard to assist any butterfly in crossing a state line it must first be approved with the USDA by means of a pre-approved PPQ526. This is done in order to guard against any releases that may be harmful to the butterfly and to release it in its natural habitat. There are also very strict restrictions on the shipping of monarchs across the Great Divide. But don’t let the red tape and regulations deter you, the IBBA has a solution.

The IBBA is the oldest and largest butterfly breeding organization dedicated to supplying the healthiest eggs, caterpillars butterflies available to the public for rearing and release. When you purchase a hatching kit from an IBBA member you can be sure that your caterpillar was raised under very stringent conditions and in adherence to all USDA guidelines. IBBA members go through continuous rigorous training through online courses, training workshops and professional conferences to keep up to date with latest techniques and Federal regulations. Qualified members are located throughout the US, Canada and in many other countries as well.

Click here for a list of breeders and where to buy butterfly educational kits

If you cannot find a breeder near you, there are many IBBA members who are federally permitted by the USDA to ship species that have been approved for your area.

Except for the Monarch butterfly during migration, when released your butterfly will not venture very far from home. As being a healthy adult it will go on to pollinate flowers, increase local populations and cause a smile wherever it alights.

So why not enjoy the Magic of Metamorphosis