live butterfly releases for weddings, funerals, memorials, and plantable seed paper favors
the original butterfly release company

Welcome to Swallowtail Farms, Inc.
~ The Original Butterfly Company ~

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SALE: Low-Cost Painted Lady Butterflies As Low As $29 Per Dozen!

cheap butterfly release

NEW! Introducing the ClearView Butterfly Zoo - a completely new way to grow live butterflies ... no more caterpillars in a cup!

live butterfly growing kit painted ladies

Giant & Gorgeous Monarch Butterflies As Low As $99 per dozen!

monarch butterfly releases

Here's How It Works.

The day before your event, you will receive a box via FedEx overnight delivery. The shipping box is insulated with ice packs keeping the butterflies in a cold dormant (sleep-like) state. Inside the shipping box each butterfly is resting and carefully contained in its own packaging designed to protect the butterfly in shipping. Simply store the butterflies in the shipping container indoors in a cool location and then 2-3 hours before release, take them out so that they have time to warm up. Instructions are included. Find out answers to commonly asked questions about the monarch butterfly.

butterfly release wedding butterflies brides maid

The Individual Release.

individual release box for butterfly release

Our most popular release option: the individual butterfly release packaging. At the appropriate time before or during the wedding, memorial, or other type of special event, the individual butterfly release boxes are passed out to the guests or participants. When the special moment arrives, all participants open their release boxes witnessing the majesty of the monarch and painted lady butterfly. These beautiful butterflies joyfully emerge and dance in flight to the delight and amazement of everyone!

Standard butterfly release boxes (as seen in image to the left) are included FREE! Most companies charge extra for release boxes if even available. Please see the BUYERS BEWARE! section by clicking on the link or see the menu on the left.

The Mass Release.

mass release box for butterfly release

Another way to release butterflies is all from one container - call a "Mass Release." Please see our assortment of mass release butterfly packaging. The butterflies will be shipped in special protective packaging (called "transfer envelopes") so that the butterflies arrive in perfect condition for your wedding, funeral, memorial or other type of butterfly release event. Transfering the butterflies from the protective packaging into the mass release container is both easy and fun! Butterfly transfer instructions will be provided.

Which should I choose - Monarchs or Painted Ladies?

This is probably the most commonly asked question. We generally suggest Painted Ladies over monarchs for a variety of reasons. Painted Lady butterflies are usually less than half the cost of Monarch butterflies. This means you can have twice as many butterflies for the same or even less cost. Also, monarchs are much more rare and have less availability than painted ladies. One more thing to consider is whether you are doing a 'mass release' or an 'individual release' (see above). Painted Ladies release better from individual boxes while monarchs are a bit better as a mass release.

Don't Worry.

Each hand-raised butterfly is fed, packaged, and ready to be released. No growing or feeding is required. All butterflies are guaranteed to be alive and healthy due to our Flight Proven™ Technology and other special methods we use to ensure that our premium live monarch and painted lady butterflies arrive to you healthy and ready to fly. We are the Original Butterfly Company with a solid guarantee of the quality of our butterflies. (Last minute orders are our specialty!).

When Should I Place My Order?

We realize not all situations allow enough notice - especially for funerals or memorials. So, we are normally able to take orders even up until the last moment. However, reservations can be made up to a year in advance. Placing your order as early as possible ensures that your butterflies will be available. We do not have a cut-off date for reservations, however we HIGHLY recommend ordering as early as possible to ensure a secured reservation, especially for weddings or other planned events.  We occasionally sell out 4 to 6 weeks prior to the event.  However, we can usually fill orders even at the last minute.  So, please call for availability, even if your event is the NEXT DAY - we just may be able to get the butterflies to you. Call our office at 1-888-441-4902.

butterfly release

How Many Butterflies Should I Order?

For the "individual butterfly release," one butterfly for every guest to release is ideal! However, if your budget does not allow for this many butterflies, we have found that releasing one butterfly per "couple" (or every other guest) will also result in an enjoyable display for releasing live butterflies. For funerals and memorials, it may be hard to predict how many people will attend. But, try to have at least one butterfly for each close family member or friend.

For a "mass butterfly release," at least 2-3 dozen monarch butterflies is recommended. The more butterflies the better, but we understand that this could also put a large dent in your budget. So, we have found that 2-3 dozen monarch butterflies are a good amount of butterflies to fill the sky while being a bit easier on the wallet.

Although the minimum order is 1 dozen, we recommend ordering 2 dozen or more for the optimum visual effect. Of course the more butterflies, the more visually stunning your live butterfly release will be.

Our Guarantee.

Our many years of experience (since 1993) growing live butterflies for release translates into beautifully vibrant butterflies arriving healthy and safe in special protective packages for your live butterfly release. We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and we will work hard to keep that rating. With that, we offer the best guarantee policy for live butterflies in the industry. Feel free to shop around - we are confident you will come back to us!

releasing butterflies at wedding

Cancellation Policy.

Please click HERE for complete details of our guarantee and cancellation policy. In summary - if the weather is either too cold or too rainy for a successful butterfly release, you may cancel up to 4 days prior to your event and receive a full refund, less a 10% administrative processing fee. The forecasted high should be 55 Deg. F or greater for a successful butterfly release. Other cancellations may require a greater fee (10% minumum) based upon the amount of notice given prior to cancellation. If you are uncertain about the possible weather for your area on your event date, we advise checking the historical weather records for your area. Please note that the butterflies will need to be released no later than 15 minutes after sunset as long as it is warm enough. For sunset times in your area on your specific event date, please click HERE for more information.

Butterfly Pricing and Ordering Information.

Please check our latest specials for butterfly release pricing and information. For monarchs, click HERE. For painted ladies, click HERE. Or, you may call our customer service office and place your order by phone at:


butterfly release monarch butterfly

Butterfly Shipping Charges and Information.

We ship all packages of live butterflies via FedEx Priority Overnight in a specially-designed container that keeps the butterflies dormant while in transit.  If we need to ship additional products ahead of time such as mass release cages or boxes, we will use the most economical method and we'll schedule them to arrive well before the event. Please click HERE for delivery pricing and more information about shipping live butterflies. Due to government regulations, we are unable to ship butterflies to the state of Hawaii. In addition, we are unable to ship live butterflies to any location outside of the US.

About the Monarch Butterfly.

The Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is known as one of the friendliest butterflies in the world. The Monarch's elegance, friendliness, and graceful flight pattern will allow your guests to interact with these lovely creatures. They love to land on your or nearby flowers, allowing for great photo opportunities. Below are the answers to some commonly asked questions about the butterflies you will receive.

live monarch butterflies for release

How Long Do Monarch Butterflies Live?

Monarchs live from 4-6 weeks depending on environmental conditions. Overwintering Monarchs can live up to 8 or 9 months!

live monarch butterflies for release

How Do They Survive Shipping?

Monarchs are very hardy creatures. The casualty rate is less than 1% (0.7% to be exact) and it is likely that all will be lively and healthy when released. The lower temperature in the shipping box puts the butterflies into a restful and comfortable "hibernation" state and they do not need to eat or even move during shipment.

How Does Temperature Affect Monarch Butterflies?

Since they are "cold-blooded" creatures, if it is cold, they are dull and unresponsive. As they warm up they become animated and fly quickly. The minimum temperature for flight is 55 degrees, so it needs to be warm for them to fly!

What Happens To The Butterflies After They Are Released?

live monarch butterflies for release

Monarchs have the ability to travel thousands of miles. For more information about their incredible fall migration, please see our monarch migration study. They can find small patches of milkweed (the caterpillar food plant) hundreds of miles away, stopping to nectar on plants in the wild and in people's back yards! Monarchs released in the fall will migrate to various over-wintering sites, returning the following year.

Do They Stick Around After Released?

Yes! Monarchs are very "friendly" butterflies. They aren't preyed upon by most butterfly predators because their bodies contain toxins that are distasteful. They are fearless when they interact with people and will allow you to move in close to get a photograph and sometimes even let you pick them up. They truly are the friendliest butterfly in the world!

butterfly release

How Can I Get Good Pictures of the Butterflies?

These cold-blooded creatures can be kept in their boxes and placed in a refrigerator for 20 minutes and this will slow their reactions and movement. Then they can be placed onto bridal bouquets, wedding gowns, graveside stones, or whatever you desire. You will have about 30 seconds to capture your photograph before the butterflies warm up and "re-animate" by slowly opening and closing their wings and walking at a slow pace.


Give the gift of a butterfly release to your loved one!
Experience the joy of having a butterfly release at your wedding, funeral, memorial or special event.
Your guests will be amazed when they release a live butterfly at your wedding.
Releasing live butterflies at weddings or special events is the ultimate party favor!