Shipping live phasmids can be risky at times. If the weather is too cold or hot, please be careful !! Even if the parcel is well insulated with bubble-wrap or newspaper the animals can die from cold or heat.
This is a step by step guide for those who want to know how to ship live phasmids (and other insects).
-cardboard box, preferably a sturdy one and big enough to leave room for loads of bubble-wrap and / or newspaper.
-kitchen paper towel, toilet paper, or any kind of fabric that can absorb and hold a lot of water for a longer period of time.
-Sturdy plastic jars or containers with perforated lids
Packing should be done with the greatest care.
Remember your phasmids will be travelling for some days and will be needing food and adequate moisture. Wait as long as possible to actually put the animals in the boxes or containers. This way they don't spend unnecessary time in the container which is ALWAYS way too small for them.
Food/plant cuttings should be wrapped in a piece of wet paper towel so they won't dry out during transport and remain edible for the time of transport.
If you add bramble to the shipping container, its best to remove all thorns by pushing them sideways and most of the time the thorns will break off. This prevents animals being injured if the box is maltreated.
Wrap the wet paper towel in cling film (sealing the moisture in) and tape the food/plant cutting tightly to the top of your plastic jar/container, leaving room at the bottom of said container for more wet paper towel (this helps keep the humidity of the container high), cover it in more cling film and tape this down tightly. This is to insure the heavy wet towel will not squash your insects when the box is mistreated by careless staff.
Make sure the lids of the containers are perforated so fresh air can still enter.
If the species you are shipping enjoy high humidity then spray the container gently once or twice before putting the animals. Don't overdo it as they are already crammed into a small space and if the conditions are too wet or of too high a humidity then they might be harmed.
Don't put too many animals in one small container, stress can definitely kill insects. its better to use two or three extra containers than to overpopulate a single big container. It will cost you extra time but will pay off because the animals are more likely to survive or arrive unscathed. This is especially important for leaf insects as they can harm each other by eating on peers' abdomen. Its preferable to only put one or two leaf insects maximum in small container, and if their adult or sub adult then pack them separately.
Next put the animals in the containers and the containers in the "main box".
Fill up the open space in the box with lots stuffing, enough that the plastic containers cannot move around during transport, this helps to prevent injury or stress.
I strongly advise to use plastic bubble-wrap in summer, and newspaper in winter. This is because bubble-wrap allows more airflow and in my opinion keeps the inside of the parcel cooler.
"Newspaper balls", as i call them, are more insulating and therefore protect your insects against the cold.
When you fill up the "main box", please be careful not to cover the air-holes in the lids of the containers as they become useless at this point and your insects might suffocate.
Finally, close the box and tape it, however make sure not to tape the gap along its seal, as this will prevent fresh air entering the box. Just tape it on both sides so that it crosses the seal on the left and right side of the box.
Last but not least, use a respected and trusted company to post/ship the prepared insects. A tracking number strongly recommended as you and the recipient can track said package and also parcels with tracking numbers tend to arrive faster.
In the photos following you can follow my packing process step by step. I hope this can be of help to you all.