Insect pinning- Help!

Hey, I’m new to the forums, so please be nice and tell me if i’m doing anything wrong.

TLDR: Does anyone have any tips for keeping a dragonfly/damselfly in good condition until I can get it to the person who’s going to pin it?

I need help with a dragonfly/damselfly (I haven’t identified it yet) that I found. I’m not all that interested in pinning it, but I do know how I can get it to someone who is. However, I can’t get it to them for a few days and I’m worried about it decomposing or breaking.

I already have it in a Tupperware container on a dry paper towel, and I have it labeled with the date that I found it on. It’s wings are already open and I used forceps to place it in the container so it wouldn’t get damaged, does anyone have any tips on what I should do to keep it in good shape until I can get it to the person who’s interested in pinning it?


You can put the insect in the freezer - that should keep it in good condition for a long time until you can give it to the other person. A bonus to freezing insects is that when it defrosts. it will still be soft and easy to pin.


Freezer is good advice. Additionally, add in a few fresh leaves of just about any plant, in the container. The leaves will provide moisture without creating too much condensation, that will help keep it from getting dried out in the freezer.


If you have a person you will give it to, it’s better to ask them, because Odonata will lose colour if not properly prepared.


Welcome to the forum!


For dragonflies and damselflies, it is not recommended to pin them. Most collections have moved towards enveloping instead, which is much more space efficient and less likely to lose body parts.



Nowadays, people have mostly stopped pinning Odonata. They just take up so much room and break so easily. Mailing them pinned is simply impossible. Usually they are stored in envelopes such as this


I agree with putting it in the freezer

What I can also suggest, which is what I did with butterfly pinning many years ago: wet two 4 paneled layers of 2 ply toilet paper very lightly with clean spirits, and make an odonata sandwich of it (specimen placed between the 2 layers). This will help to clad the specimen in anti-saprophyte medium, preventing early decay and keeping the local area around specimen at a constant and cool temperature without condensation

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