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Caterpillar – Build A Painted Lady Butterfly Raising Kit

$ 3.75 Per Caterpillar

The build a painted lady raising kit includes everything you need to raise and hatch your very own butterflies. (with the option of adding the a net cage which is required for the process unless you already have one) The painted ladies are a delight to raise and require minimal care during their incredible metamorphosis.


All orders place after May 9th are estimated to ship the week of June 5th. Prior to shipping your order we will notify you via email.


Expedited or XpressPost Shipping


Tracking Included with Canada Post


Postal Insurance with Canada Post

These kits can be used for personal or educational use.

Please select your delivery date from the available options below, and we will email you an estimated delivery date as soon as possible.


We ship caterpillars in cups of five. If you would like to separate them into cups of one caterpillar each, just select that option below.

A minimum of 1 is required.

A minimum of 1 is required.

A minimum of 1 is required.


ATTENTION: Please note that a net cage is required to hatch and release of your butterflies. If you already have net cage and do not require it, please leave the quantity amount blank to not add a net cage.

The small butterfly habitat/hatching net cage is designed for raising butterflies with a vinyl window panel to view butterfly eggs, caterpillars, and chrysalises through their metamorphosis. Re-usable and a must-have experience for all butterfly and insect lovers!
Dimensions 12” x 12” x 12”

A minimum of 10 painted lady caterpillars are required to proceed with an order. You are able to add more caterpillars in increments of 5.


You are able to add and build a kit that has everything you need to raise these marvelous creatures minus the net cage (with the option of adding the cage if needed). Our easy-to-follow instructions make it simple to experience their metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly, the entire process taking approximately two weeks depending on your climate conditions.

These kits are designed for every environment, whether at home, school, retirement home, community center, or otherwise. The kits also make incredible gifts for burgeoning enthusiasts, teaching lessons about life-cycles, transformation, and growth…often a child’s first experience nurturing the development of a wild creature in a time where there is more focus on screens rather than what’s all around us.

We begin shipping these kits from the end of April/May, June end of August-September each year, weather and season permitting.

The Build A Painted Lady Raising Kit includes:

    • Complete diet protocol for raising from caterpillar to butterfly (10 cups of single or 2 cups of minimum of 5)
    • A special note from the team
    • Basic instructions with a QR code for detailed and breed-specific instructions along with our blog that has continually increasing information
    • An Indigenous poem to be read at the time of the butterfly release
    • Caterpillar Cleaning / Hygiene Brush (to remove frass and webbing)
    • Optional Small or Large Mesh Cage

All shipping is done through Canada Post using Expedited or Xpress Post with a tracking number and postal insurance. Delivery can be made to your school, facility, home, or any other postal address provided. To learn more about the raising experience and Build a Painted Lady Kit, or get more information about the process, please visit our FAQ page and blog.



This kit includes everything you need to raise and release butterflies minus the net cage (with the option of adding the cage if needed). From the arrival date of your package, it takes approximately 2 weeks to raise your caterpillars into butterflies. The growth and development of butterflies is climate-dependent. In colder conditions, the caterpillars will take longer to reach the butterfly stage; in warmer conditions, their growth will be accelerated.

If you are a school or institution that has a deadline for raising the butterflies, please inform us when placing your order so we can do our best to meet your timeline. While we have a substantial volume of kits available, we fill orders on the priority they are placed, so we advise placing your order as far in advance as possible.

To learn more about the process of raising, caring, and releasing butterflies, please visit our FAQ and blog for detailed information. If there is something you’d like to add, please let us know at and we’ll be sure to add it.


The season for shipping refill painted lady raising kits runs from the end of April/May-September, weather and season permitting. We do not ship during the month of July until mid-August because of the extreme heat, which is not optimal for shipping and handling caterpillars. We will do our best to ship your kits in the month you request, but if there are any delays or issues, we will email you. While we have a substantial volume of kits available, we fill orders on the priority they are placed, so we advise placing your order as far in advance as possible.

All new orders placed will begin shipping towards the end of August. Prior to shipping your order we will notify you via email. We are unable to ship orders prior to, due to extreme heat which may result in the insects perishing during shipment.

All shipments are made through Canada Post and shipped to the address provided, however, they may choose, at their discretion, to leave your package at your front door, a side door, with a concierge, at a safe drop location, in a community mailbox, or tag it for pickup at your local post office. Although we wish they can hand-deliver every package, it is out of our control. Please ensure you provide the most accurate postal address and any special instructions if needed.

In the past, we’ve used other courier and delivery services, and our experience has been that Canada Post takes the most care when handling our packages. After years of service, we developed a relationship with Canada Post as they are aware of the contents of our packages and use special handling with every delivery.

All of our packages are shipped expedited and with XpressPost including a tracking number and standard $100 postal insurance. Postal insurance is included on all orders and any claims for damage or lost packages should be made to Canada Post. For full details on Canada Posts delivery terms and conditions, please visit

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    What is the webbing in the painted lady kit cups?

    The caterpillars produce webbing to stick themselves, or move from one area to another. In the wild they use this webbing to protect themselves from danger and to stick on their host plants. As heavy winds could easily blow them off.

    What are the yellow/brown balls in the cups with the painted lady caterpillars?

    This is the caterpillars’ waste from digestion and they produce a material known as frass. Please clean the cups every 2 to 3 days as necessary.

    How do you clean up after the caterpillars?

    Using the brush provided in your kit, Remove the frass (yellow/brown balls) , their black shed skin and webbing in the cups every 2 to 3 days as necessary. Please see the painted lady kit instructions that go over this step in detail.

    When should I release my butterflies?

    We recommend releasing the butterflies within 2 to 3 days after they have emerged weather permitting.

    Why do I need to place a paper towel at the bottom of the net cage?

    When the butterflies emerge and have completed pumping meconium into their wings, the excess is pumped out their abdomen. The red liquid will drip on the side and bottom of the cage. Placing a paper towel will ensure the space will not get stained with the liquid.

    What are the black balls?

    The painted lady caterpillar goes through 5 instars. Each instar it goes through the caterpillar will shed its skin. The black balls that are found in the cups are the shed skin of the caterpillar.

    What are the red balls in the caterpillar cup?

    When you see red frass balls, the caterpillars have finished eating and now are ready to pupate. The caterpillars will soon attach themselves to the paper lining (without your help) Do not disturb, move the cups during this delicate process for at least 48 hours to ensure the pupa have dried and hardened.

    Is there enough food for the caterpillars?

    Yes, there is enough air in the cups. There are tiny holes on the lid of the cup.

    What do the caterpillars eat?

    The monarch caterpillars eat milkweed and the painted lady caterpillars feed on thistle and hollyhock. The food provided in the painted lady kit is an artificial diet

    How long does the process take?

    The entire process from egg to caterpillars takes about 4 weeks. When you receive your kit the painted lady caterpillars take about 2 weeks to reach the butterfly stage. The pupae take about 5 to 8 days to hatch.

    Can we open all caterpillar containers and place them in the net cage with the food?

    No, the artificial diet will dry out resulting in the food not being edible. Keeping the caterpillars in their cups protects them from bacteria. If by any chance one caterpillar is sick and they are all one one cup, it will spread to the others. For the highest success rate we have placed the caterpillars in individual cups.

    Can we remove the cup lids and play with the caterpillars?

    No, it is not recommended to do so. As opening the cups may introduce the sterile cups to bacteria and if hand handled the oil and salts could harm your caterpillars. We only recommend opening the cups to clean the caterpillars frass. Once they fully pupate and form the chrysalides to transfer them into the butterfly habitat.

    Why are the chrysalides shaking?

    This is normal and happens when the pupa is trying to ward off any predators or intruders that are near them. The wiggling and shaking does not harm them.

    What is the red liquid on the cages when a butterfly hatches?

    When butterflies emerge from the pupa, the butterfly will pump a fluid called meconium. This liquid is stored in the intestine of the butterfly. When the butterfly has completed pumping the liquid into its wings, the excess is expelled. The red liquid is a natural occurrence and is part of the butterflies hatching process.

    How do you set up the Painted Lady raising kit and a Monarch Kit?

    Please click here to see the instructions on how to set up the painted lady kit. Please also visit our blog with a step by step guide on how to do so

    I have issues or am concerned about my insects. I need troubleshooting

    There are many factors throughout the life cycle process that we would love to assist you with. We go over this information depth in our blog which is broken down in categories. If there is anything that you do not see that answers your concerns, please email us at and we will be sure to add this information on our blog.

    Are the seeds ready to be planted?

    Our milkweed seeds have already gone through the cold stratification process so they are ready to be planted.

    Where can I find the Painted Lady raising kit and the monarch kit instructions?

    Click here to visit our blog to find the instructions and in depth information on how to raise them. They can also be found on the ordering page, on our blog and are emailed to you once you place an order with us.

    Can I pre-order the kits? If so when can I place the order?

    Yes, we take pre-orders up to 1 year  in advance. You can place the order online and Contact Us and let us know when you would like to receive your order for.

    What is the food that is sent with the painted lady rearing kit made out of?

    The caterpillar food is made from ground Hollyhock, Thistle, wheat germ sugar and water.

    When are the caterpillar rearing kits available to purchase?

    The season for painted lady kit begins at the end of April or May weather and season permitting. We begin sending out monarch kits at the end of July – September each year.

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