I'm a graduate student studying Monarch learning at Georgetown University. I generally order 30-40 pupae a month and did not have problems with shipments between 2002 and 2003. However, I have tried to order a total of 100 monarchs between 2004 and now, and have had a >90% casualty rate. Some of the pupae turned black suggesting OE infection, but others turned yellow.
The supplier assures me the brothers and sisters of my batches sent elsewhere have a high survival rate, and I have tried everything in my lab from sanitizing the walls to ordering new cages.
Recently I've heard from a few associates at the Smithsonian that DC is x-raying/irradiating all their mail. Does anyone know if this is true? Has anyone else had problems with shipments in the DC area? I'd like to get this taken care of so I can finish the project, but spending $100 a month to experiment with shipping locations isn't a viable option.
Any help would be appreciated,