Butterfly Livestock and Host Plants
The Monarch Program rears a variety of native butterfly species for classroom projects, private individuals, public butterfly houses, and scientific studies. Most species are available during the spring, summer, and autumn months. Usually about eight to ten species are reared monthly. Eighteen species have been reared during the past ten years and placed inside the Vivarium to learn which species do not do well inside of an enclosure. Photographs and descriptions of the larvae, pupae, and adult stages of these butterflies are listed below.
Prices for purchasing butterfly livestock depends on the species and quantity available at the time. Larvae of most species range from $2.00 – $5.00 each (according to size and species). Pupae range from $4.00 – $7.00. All prices are subject to change. Payments for livestock are considered a donation to our organization. The Monarch Program does not accept requests for mail order shipments of livestock outside of their natural range unless they are for public or private butterfly enclosures.
Pictured below are the adult butterflies featured in our livestock. For information regarding flight period, range and host plant click the butterfly image or the species name the page you will be taken to also includes photographs of the larva and pupa stage of each butterfly.
The Monarch Program offers a variety of plants for native butterflies. The price of all plants depends on availability, demand, and the time of year. Plants are sold in various sizes, from 6″ pots to 10 gallon pots. Plants at the facility can range from $2.00 to $18.00 depending on the size and species of the plant. The price of bare root plants for shipping ranges from $1.50 – $4.00 each (plus shipping). We also supply seeds of various host plant species.
Selected Host Plants Cultivated at the Monarch Program Facility:
Baby’s Tears (Soleirolia soleirolii) for red admirals.
Common Rue (Ruta graveolens) for giant swallowtails.
False Indigo (Amorpha fruticosa) for the California dogface.
Flowery Senna (Cassia corymbosa) and Popcorn Senna (Cassia didymobotrya) for cloudless sulfurs, the nicippe yellow, and marine blues.
Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica, and other spp.) for monarchs and queens.
Passion Vine (Passiflora caerulea and numerous hybrids) for gulf fritillaries.
Pipevine (Aristolochia fimbriata) for pipevine swallowtails.
Stinging Nettle (Urtica spp.) for red admirals, painted ladies, and west coast ladies.
Sweet Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare, and other Carrot Family members) for anise swallowtails.
Willow (Salix lasiolepis, and Salix babylonica) for mourning cloaks and tiger swallowtails.