Sending Eggs or Caterpillars by post

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  • #41846


    Can Monarch eggs or caterpillars be mailed within NZ?
    If so how should the be packaged?
    We are happy to adopt but as we live in the country travel is an issue.

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  • #41880


    My experience is that NZ Post is very reliable (6 days) whereas Couriers aren’t.
    Our last 3 courier experiences have been 5 days plus. Some won’t put things in letter boxes, demanding a signature.
    Personally I think Caterpillars would be fine if well packed, particularly if the alternative is starving on a dead tree.
    My address is 436 Mangatangi Rd, RD 3, Pokeno 2473 if anyone would like to send us eggs or caterpillars. Ph 09 232 7247



    NZ post is too unreliable, even though they boast you can get something arrive in 3 days or less. Much better to send a package by a courier, doesn’t cost any more that sending a package by post.



    The best way I’ve found is to cut the leaf back so that there is the minimum amount of leaf around the egg (about 1/2 cm x 1/2 cm) and put that into a piece of plastic tubing or a CD case or similar. The eggs should be freshly laid, then you should have 4-5 days before the caterpillars emerge.

    They do not need any feed as to begin with they eat their egg case. I lift tiny caterpillars off the remains of the leaf with a new eye-shadow brush, and “brush” them onto a young swan plant leaf in my caterpillar castle.

    They do not need any additional moisture in the container – this will only make everything go mouldy.

    I have been disappointed with Fastpost so will now only send them by courier – mightn’t work if you’re rural – or perhaps you have a neighbour commuting from a major town/city who could accept delivery during business hours and bring them home for you.

    I would not send caterpillars. Ever.

    Hope that helps.



    I’ve never done this and would hesitate to post caterpillars because of the unreliability of NZ Post, the way mail gets thrown around and they could overheat and/or starve in a package. Eggs however I would think possible, posted in a sturdy box with lots of cushioning. Perhaps line a box with some bubble wrap, then a layer of cotton wool or paper towels, lightly misted with water to keep the eggs hydrated, then lay down the leaves with the eggs, cover with more damp cotton wool or paper towels, more bubble wrap on top and seal the box? This is just a suggestion, I haven’t done it before myself. I would be willing to try it out but I don’t have any eggs to send you!

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