Ordering Guidelines

Setting up an account:

Before you can order animals, we need to set up a customer account for you. Please submit a “New Customer Application”.


Credit card:

We accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express. After receiving your order, you will receive an e-mail with an invoice number. After you receive the invoice number, click here to provide credit card information to our secure online payment service. Do not send credit card information via telephone, fax or email.


Payment is due within 30 days of receipt of invoice. Checks must be made payable to:
The University of Miami — MBE — Aplysia

Mail checks to:

National Resource for Aplysia, University of Miami, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway Miami, Florida 33149

Purchase orders:

You must arrange any purchase orders through your purchasing department and contact us with the information, as soon as possible. You are responsible for ensuring that invoices are paid in a timely manner.


  • To order, you must first establish a new account.
  • Once your account has been set up, please email your order to aplysiaorder@rsmas.miami.eduPlease make sure to include the PI name, number and size of animals, if you would like to order algae (food), and the date of desired shipment.
  • We ship all orders on Tuesdays. The deadline for us to receive orders is Monday by noon the week of your shipment. Any orders that come in past noon on Monday are subject to a $50 late order fee. Priority goes to people who order early. (Most researchers order on Friday afternoon)
  • We are not able to service refunds, accept returns or exchanges on any animal stock, but we may be able to apply a credit for future orders on a case-by-case basis. If there are any issues with animals upon arrival, you must contact us with 24 hours of receiving the animals.  We cannot accept liability for animals showing signs of stress or mortality days after arrival. 

Note: Any orders that come in past noon on Monday are subject to a $50 late order fee.

Additional Costs:

  • In addition to the cost of the animals, you will be charged the cost of Federal Express Priority Overnight delivery on your invoice, unless you provide us with a FedEx account number to charge to.  Please see price list for shipping costs.
  • There will be a box/handling charge added to your invoice, please see the price list for box charges.
  • Any orders submitted past noon on Monday are subject to a $50 late order fee.
  • Any non-Tuesday shipment will be subject to a $50 NTS fee.

International Cost:

We have had great success shipping Aplysia to most countries within a two day time window using a freight forwarder/courier service.

  • If you are shipping internationally, there will be additional charges for some or all of the following: pathology, documents, freight forwarding, air cargo and document preparation.
  • International shipments must be paid in full before we can ship the animals.
  • We are not responsible for the quality or accuracy of licenses, permits or other international import documents provided to us by foreign research laboratories.  It is the end user’s responsibility to make us aware of all required documents or permits for their country.
  • If your country does not accept import due to provided documents or permits, we do not refund pre-payments.
  • We recommend that your licenses and the permitting requirements be reviewed on an annual basis.
  • If you country does not require a license or permit to import Aplysia californica, we ask for a letter from the proper government agency stating that there are no restrictions on the importation. We cannot ship animals without the license (permit) or the letter.
  • Please check your country's holiday schedule when deciding on your shipping schedule. We are not responsible for animals held up in customs because of national holidays, strikes or other delays.


Aplysia are placed in bags of seawater with oxygen, and then shipped in Styrofoam boxes with ice. The ice usually melts by the time you receive it. DO NOT put Aplysia in this water.

We are required to send your order via FedEx Priority Overnight. You will usually receive your order on Wednesday morning before 11am. If your order has not arrived by noon, please check the tracking information emailed to you first, and then contact us with any questions.  Your packing slip is enclosed in the box. Please save this to confirm your order.

Receiving your animals — Acclimation:

  • Prepare your tank in advance for the arrival of the Aplysia.
  • When animals arrive, take out the box but keep in bag.
  • Record the group numbers on the bags; it is the key to the history of your animals.
  • Place the unopened bag in your aquarium for one hour.
  • After an hour, open bag and add 100 ml of your tank's water to the water in the bag.
  • After 15 minutes, add another 100 ml of your tank's water to the water in the bag.
  • After another 15 minutes release the animals into the tank.

Visit Handling Your Aplysia section for more information on how to care for your animals.