Frequently Asked Questions

About The Specimens

What liquid do you use for the wet specimens?

We use 70% isopropyl alcohol

What are the sizes of the frames in inches?

R-mini: 9cm x 6cm = 3.25in x 2.5in

R-1: 11cm x 8cm = 4.25in x 3.25in

R-2: 14cm x 8cm = 5.5in x 4.5in

R-3: 16cm x 14cm = 6in x 5in

R-4: 21cm x 16xm = 8in x 6in

RXL: 30cm x 21cm = 12in x 8in

Do I need to do anything to maintain my specimens?

The specimens are permanently preserved and will last a lifetime with proper care. They should be kept under glass and must be away from direct sunlight or excess humidity. Click HERE for more information on how to maintain your collection. Click HERE for more information on natural history specimen collection pest management, prevention and control.

Why are some of the butterflies missing their abdomens?

Some species of Saturn moths and almost all species of Morpho butterflies have their abdomens purposely removed. If left intact, oils in the abdomen will stain the wings over time.

How do I reposition the specimens without breaking them?

CLICK HERE to view our video on how to rehydrate butterflies and moths.

CLICK HERE to view more videos on how to spread the wings

Can I take the specimen out of the frame?

Yes, there are two nails holding the “lid” to the frame in place. Take out the nails, lift off the lid, and handle the specimen very carefully by the top inside edge of the forewings closest to the body.

Can I hang the frames up on my wall?

Yes, all of our framed specimens come with hangers for the back so you can display them on your wall.

Click here for a video tutorial on how to attach the hangers to the frame.

Are they fragile?

Yes and no. Our framed specimens are extremely hardy. The white cotton layer inside the frame pushes the butterfly’s wings against the glass to hold the specimen in place. Even if the frame is dropped or shaken the butterfly will stay put and remain intact (comes in handy during the shipping process). Unmounted and pinned specimens should be handled very carefully by the body or pin since there is nothing protecting them from the elements. A butterfly’s wings are like tissue paper, very thin, and easily ripped. Make sure there is no wind or air current when handling the specimen outside the frame.

What about the other animals?

We also work with local pet stores, breeders, universities, and museums to acquire other critters like frogs, snakes, seahorses, and octopi. All of the animals we receive from them have died in transit from one place to another or from natural causes like disease, genetic abnormalities, etc.

Where did you get them?

They are raised in butterfly aviaries all over the world. To keep the operations running females are brought in from the wild to lay their eggs inside a large enclosed habitat. This way she and all of her babies are protected from disease, parasites, and predators. One female butterfly can lay thousands of eggs. In the wild only a handful will survive into adulthood because of all of these obstacles. In captivity virtually 100% will survive. Once the butterflies reach adulthood many are released back into the wild to help increase the indigenous populations. The rest are kept in the butterfly house for the rest of their lives, which is only a week or so in most cases, after they hatch from their chrysalis. Museums, universities, and businesses like ours will purchase the deceased specimens to preserve and keep in a collection for the public, to study things like DNA/evolution of a species/mutations/disease, or to make artwork. The money we supply to the butterfly houses helps keep their operation running, which in turn saves the native species of insects and plants from becoming endangered or extinct. This financial incentive motivates governments in third world countries to maintain their natural flora and fauna.

CLICK HERE for more information about butterfly aviaries.

Are they real? What is a replica?

All of our butterflies, moths, beetles, and bugs are preserved using the same techniques museums use to prepare their specimens for display. Insects have exoskeletons that can be maintained indefinitely, just like our own skeletons. The wings are also part of their exoskeleton, are made of chitin, and have scales that reflect light and give us the colors we see when we look at them.

Click Here to view informative videos on insect collections and preservation.

There are lots of insects we would love to add to our collection, but they’re either extremely rare, costly or difficult to acquire. Our replicas are high quality cotton rag paper representations of some of the most elusive insect species printed in accurate coloration and laser cut to the precise size and shape of real specimens.

What is the difference between the unmounted, mounted, and framed options?

Unmounted butterfly/moth: specimen will come with the wings closed, packaged in a paper envelope, no frame.

Mounted butterfly/moth: specimen will come with the wings spread, pinned in a box with styrofoam, no frame.

Framed: specimen will come in a frame with a glass front and hanger for the back so it can be displayed on your wall.

Pinned beetle/bug: specimen will come pinned into a box with styrofoam, no frame.

Packaged beetle/bug: specimen will come packaged, unmounted with the wings closed and legs tucked under the body, no frame.

Inventory Inquiries

How do BicBugs gift cards work?

Include the recipient’s name, email address, and any personalized greeting you would like to include before adding to your cart to checkout. We will email them the gift card number they can use to purchase anything on our site. If you choose to schedule email delivery of the gift card ahead of time for a special occasion it will be sent automatically at 1:01am Central Time on the date you specify.

The recipient can automatically apply the gift card to an order via a link on the email they receive or at checkout, all they have to do is type the gift card number into the “gift card” box and the amount will automatically be deducted from their total.

No expiration date. Can be used any number of times until all funds are redeemed.

How does the wishlist work?

With our new features you are able to share your wishlist with friends and family on facebook, twitter and pinterest or email and whatsapp someone directly. The link you send them will show all items on your wishlist, which they can select to add to cart, purchase, and our system will autofill your address for easy anonymous gift ordering!

What are your shipping rates and policies?

We ship anywhere within the United States. Once everything is added to your cart shipping will automatically be calculated based on the total weight of the package to your zip code. If your order totals over $100 you become eligible for free standard shipping.

We only ship within the United States and do not currently offer exports to any other country.

Is shopping with you safe?

Your information is completely safe when shopping with us. Our website is secured with SSL, the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between you and the web server. This ensures that all of your data is private. We have over 12,000 5-star reviews and thousands of customers that will vouch for our professionalism and excellent customer service. You are in good hands!

Do you offer wholesale discounts?

Yes we offer bulk discounts for multiples and free standard shipping on orders over $100. The discount will automatically apply when you add the appropriate quantities to your cart.

We also offer mixed lots and mystery boxes at a discounted price. Click HERE to view products

Do you accept custom orders or new inventory requests?

Yes! Feel free to contact us at [email protected] with a list or description of what you have in mind and we will see what we can do!

For custom order requests please allow extra time for us to prepare your specimens. All sales are final and creative decisions are made at the discretion of the artist.

How long will you have the current selection in stock?

It depends. We do sell out of some species occasionally before we have the opportunity to restock. If there is something you need that is no longer on the site feel free to contact us and we will let you know an estimate on when they will be available again.

How often do you acquire new specimens?

Can you provide more information on the specimens I ordered?

Absolutely! We maintain a database of where all of our specimens come from and when they were acquired. If you would like scientific data for your specimens feel free to contact us and we will provide all of the information we have available.

Shipping and Return Policies

Do you offer overnight shipping?

Yes, we can ship UPS next day (overnight). Overnight orders will be shipped same day if possible. To rush shipment feel free to call or email us to bring the order to our attention so our team can get started on it right away.

[email protected]


What if my package is lost or returned?

BicBugs is not responsible for lost or stolen packages once they have been confirmed delivered by the shipping carrier. Please make arrangements to have your packages delivered to a secure address or location. This is especially important around the holidays. If your package is lost after delivery, we will do our best to help you locate it, but the best course is for you to contact your mail carrier and/or local post office.

Please ensure that your address is correct when you check out! If we receive returned packages we will hold them for 30 days. Please contact us with a corrected address as soon as possible so we can reship your order. Shipping charges will apply.

Do you ship outside of the US?

We only ship within the United States.

We only accept returns shipped within the US. Returns shipped from any other country will be rejected upon delivery due to special regulations regarding the importation of insect specimens.

What is your return policy?

We guarantee 100% complete satisfaction with all of our products. If you are unhappy with your order for any reason you may return it within 30 days of delivery for store credit. Customer is responsible for the cost of return shipping. The items must be returned in their original condition in order to be eligible, so package them carefully, exactly how they arrived. Any loss in value from damage to the specimens will be reflected in your store credit amount. For orders with free shipping you will receive store credit for the full purchase price after a 20% restocking fee. All sales are final in regards custom orders and orders with special requests. Assorted lots must be returned as a set; we do not accept partial returns for these listings.

How do I know when it will be delivered?

When we have your order packed up and ready to ship we will send you an email with a tracking number for your package. You can use this number to see its location along the way to you and an expected delivery date.

When will my order be shipped?

Your order will be shipped the same or next business day unless otherwise specified. Please allow extra time for large orders and during the holidays. You will receive an email confirmation with the tracking information for your box when your order has been shipped. We offer standard, expedited, and express/overnight shipping. You can select the shipping method you prefer at checkout.

Have any more shipping related questions ?