anyone looking for bst caterpillars in pa?

gwynne2006September 5, 2010

I bit off a little more than I can chew! I have 40 BST caterpillars and I dont have the space to raise them all. Is anyone in PA interested in raising any?

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I am in Pgh. Where are you?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 11:30AM
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I guess I should have mentioned I am near Philadelphia. I do have someone interested if I can figure out how to ship.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 2:16PM
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If you are willing to ship I'd like to try raising them in Minnesota! We have smokey fennel planted out back so I have plenty of food. About 4 would be nice.

Can they survive if they are shipped "priority mail?" or do they need to be overnighted? Anyone have experience shipping cats? Anyhow, let me know if you are open to this, Tony

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 2:43PM
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terrene(5b MA)

I was shipped some Monarch eggs this year, from a poster on the butterfly forum who was kind enough to send them from PA to Mass. I sent her a small flat rate shipping box from the USPS, that was pre-labelled with my address along with a $5 bill. I flattened the box and folded it over and put it in a 9x12 manilla envelope. Hopefully this made it convenient for her to package the eggs and just drop them off at the PO.

It took 2 days for the box to get to me, I hovered over the mailbox because we were having hot weather. By the time they arrived almost all the eggs had hatched! She had included some milkweed cuttings with wet paper towel/plastic wrapped around the stems, and then wrapped the whole thing loosely in paper towel. There were 27 little cats on the cuttings! Out of the 27, I released 22 healthy Monarchs.

I think you could do this with small cats, especially BSTs because they don't eat a lot when they're small and they don't wander much. Perhaps you could put the cuttings and cats in a plastic container, and punch some holes for air?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 3:16PM
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gwynne2006 & coolbutterfly,

Lep livestock is not hard at all to ship and have them arrive in perfect condition. In my active days long ago I shipped and recieved livestock (ovum, larvae and adults) to/from all around the world with no losses, and some took as long as 2 weeks in transit. In the hotter months when I knew the package would take more than a couple of days (like to a foreign country) I packed the shippping box with freezable cold packs. The shipper also needs to make sure that the receiver will be looking for the package on the day it is suppose to arrive so it doesn't sit out in a hot mail box all day.

For larvae easiest it to use a zip lock bag with plenty of extra room, place a sheet or two of folded up paper towel on the bottom, fill it with food plant cuttings that have the stem wrapped with soaked paper towel strips and spray it all to just damp. Put in the larvae and blow the bag up before sealing it (a small tropical fish tank pump works well for this). If you are worried about the "zip" seal, tape it with painters or masking tape. Then put the bag in a cardboard box it fits just snug in (or with packing) and ship it. The larger Flat Rate are fine if the bag fits. The bag will have more than enough oxygen for the larvae to make the trip.

FWIW, now days shipping lepidoptera across state lines is illegal without first obtaining an USDA APHIS permit to do so, AND it has to be a species that is allowed shipment to your state by the USDA. Both the shipper and the receiver are at risk if the regs are not followed.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 3:40PM
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Thank you, everyone. I am aware it is illegal to ship out of state.

I had a very nice woman about two hours from here who contacted me and offered to take them if no one else wanted them. I was going to ship to her. Today was really the only window of time I had to will be raising them.

They are third instars and I would not want them sitting in the post office over the weekend. They will be too big to mail by Monday.

I live near Philadelphia. Anyone who can pick them up is more than welcome to, but I dont feel confident in myself about mailing them.

And I want to say thank you again to the woman who offered to raise them and I am sorry I couldnt figure out how to mail them before they got to big.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 5:22PM
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Third instar and they will be too big to ship on Monday?

Not so. They are not too big to ship even as late 5th instar (which they won't be even close to by Monday). Sitting in the PO over the weekend won't hurt them either. So there is no reason to not be confident if you want to bother with them. But, only you can decide.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 5:35PM
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Hi everyone, I was not aware of the legal ramifications of shipping caterpillars across state lines.

Maybe this would be something to reconsider in the spring when the first frost isn't potentially right around the corner.

We literally get hundreds of monarchs here every summer so maybe someone who has a hard time attracting monarchs would consider an "egg trade" next spring.

I have six monarch chrysalides remaining this season and one "small" caterpillar that better start eating if he wants to make it out of here before it's too cold to fly.

Have a great weekend everyone! Tony

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 1:13PM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

Yes, you do need a permit from the USDA/APHIS to ship butterflies/moths across state lines. I have one for Maryland when I take butterflies for an event that I help with every year.

No charge for the permit, just paper work.

Here is a link that might be useful: USDA Permits to Transport Butterflies across State Lines

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 6:18PM
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