order@butterflywedding.co.za Phone: +27 74 422 5577

Code Of Conduct

Butterfly Wedding Releases (Founded in 1993)

In Association with South African Butterfly Breeding Association (SABBA)
A Non Profit Company (NPC) – Registration No. 2005/035553/08, P. O. Box 599, Ramsgate, 4285.

We have been supplying SA butterflies as confetti since 1999.
Note; This service is not available to wedding/function Coordinators or wedding/function Venues


To avoid misunderstandings and misrepresentations
– we do not deal with third parties –


Code of conduct of Butterfly Wedding Releases


SABBA’s prime purpose is the conservation of wild populations of butterflies and moths and their habitats in South Africa. This entails encouraging people to observe, appreciate and understand the needs of living insects. The issue of collecting butterflies and moths is controversial and it is unlikely that any code will be completely acceptable to everybody. This code is based on the principle that no Lepidoptera should be killed or collected casually, unthinkingly or without good reason, and that collecting, should never be carried out in a way that would endanger, or have any adverse effect on any population of non-pest Lepidoptera.



The main threats affecting Lepidoptera populations relate to habitat loss or inappropriate management. Many species, however, are becoming so rare or localized that uncontrolled collecting, particularly if targeted at vulnerable sites and species, might adversely affect populations and lead to local extinctions.
In these circumstances, SABBA believes that care, consideration and restraint need to be exercised at all times, even when collecting is carried out for legitimate and acceptable purposes such as scientific research, the identification of difficult species or breeding programs used for butterfly wedding releases. In some situations specific byelaws prohibit the removal of specimens of flora and fauna from sites while many nature reserves, including private land controlled by either the land owner or SABBA, have a no collecting policy without prior permission, which will only be granted as a day permit and not a seasonal or annual permit. Legislation is also in place, which prohibits the collection of certain species. SABBA members are encouraged to report any obvious transgressions relating to unauthorized collecting to the appropriate authorities.



Collecting for commercial purposes is not in the best interests of Lepidoptera conservation in South Africa and SABBA supports all measures to regulate trading of butterflies and moths. Members should be aware of the legislation covering the sale of particular species; such is found in the red data books and be prepared to assist the authorities in monitoring and upholding the law. Members are strongly urged not to support the trade in protected species through the purchase of stock from commercial breeders. A code of conduct on livestock rearing for members and educational purposes is in preparation, and will be implemented by the South African Butterfly Breeding Association, SABBA.



Collecting for captive rearing purposes can have a legitimate educational objective and can be a useful way of understanding some of the details of the life history of butterflies and moths. However, scarce species should not be collected at all, unless as an integral part of a conservation program approved by the Conservation authorities and other leading conservation bodies. For such purposes it is preferable to collect the earlier life cycle stages of a species rather than the adult form and to collect from non-conservation sites. Should a collector want to breed butterflies, he/she undertakes to be members of the South African Butterfly Breeding Association, SABBA, for the correct procedures and according to a code of conduct presented by the organization. Restraint should be exercised in the numbers of eggs and larvae taken for rearing and any release should be onto the sites from which they were originally collected. Releases should be reported to the appropriate SABBA offices. A recommended 15 percent of butterflies should be released from a single breeding.



Due to the great demand to discover the secrets of successful and proper breeding methods, it is essential that we do not disclose these to the general public, as this has in the past, led individuals abusing this knowledge, for the purposes of creating numerations for personal gains, without a thought to the conservation of our South African butterfly species. The practices of breeding butterflies in small confined spaces leads to an unnatural and devastating effect on up to 98% of the larvae. For proper breeding practices a company or individual should apply for the proper courses and instruction from Conservation of Butterflies in South Africa.



The contents of this code should not be construed as reasons for failing to comply with the law concerning protected Lepidoptera. If any person is uncertain as to the legal requirements for PERMITS regarding the legitimate possession of specimens of protected species or captive breeding stock for commercial purposes, advice should be sought from the relevant bodies such as SABBA, CBISA, Department of Environment &Tourism, Conservation Services, and WESSA.