Santa Clarita and Northern Los Angeles County Area
Tips and ideas for conserving, collecting, preserving, and displaying lepidoptera.
Butterfly and Moth Site
Shipping mounted specimens through the mail.
As many collectors know, the best quality specimens are usually those
which were mounted when still fresh at the time of capture. Specimens
which are papered and then later relaxed just before mounting usually
suffer some damage, and of course require the extra effort of the
Sending papered specimens through the mail is widely used because it's
cheap, easy and relatively safe for the specimens. Mounted specimens can
seem like a much riskier, difficult and expensive proposition.
However, if prepared and packaged properly, shipping mounted bugs
through the mail can also be quite safe and economical. Detailed below
are some tips for getting mounted specimens to their destination with a
minimum of hassle, risk and expense.
Some notes on the USPS mail system:
Most shipping methods have their pros and cons, but one method stands
out above the others where cost, speed, and handling matter... US Postal
Service 1st class mail. I've tried a number of "premium" methods;
"priority", "express", and all different carriers and found that they
usually take longer and definitely cost more than 1st class mail.
There are some limits to qualifying for the 1st class mail category -
most notable is the 13 oz. weight maximum. For papered specimens, this
is usually no problem. However, the extra packaging needed for mounted
bugs can be a challenge. If you don't care about cost or time, the same
method shown below can still be used with heavier materials, and then
shipped parcel post or similar.