Should Insects in Family Corydalidae be pinned or preserved as a wet speciemen?

Basically the title, haha. I caught a nice C. rastricornis specimen and I want to preserve it correctly, but unlike many of the ‘popular’ groups of insects, I can’t find any info on pinning location or whether wet preservation is better, so any input would be great. I am personally leaning toward wet preservation, just because it’s such a delicate insect.

I appreciate any input or tips!

Im afraid I don’t have any advice myself, but I just want to say that if you don’t have luck here, someone on the iNat discord server may know

I did not know there was a discord server for iNat! Thanks!

To be clear it’s not an official discord server, it’s run by a group of iNat users. But it’s a fun community. :-)


have you considered asking top identifiers? especially if their profile page indicates experience in universities or museums which would have physical collections


We don’t have Corydalidae in UK, but the Megaloptera we do have can be preserved either way. If you are going to pin them, I would do it in a position that allows the tip of the abdomen to be examined, as this is the critical part for identifying the UK species (Sialis spp.). So have the wings open on at least one side.

Personally I store nearly all invertebrate specimens in small tubes of 70% alcohol, one tube per collecting event. It is quicker, uses less storage space, and the specimens are not at risk from mould and museum beetles. But they will tend to lose a few limbs if they get into a tangle in the tube and it is time-consuming when you want to extract one for re-examination.


@jhbratton I did end up storing it in alchohol, I think that looks better than pinning it would have, especially considering how soft the insect’s body was.
@astra_the_dragon Oh, I never thought of that! I should do that next time.

Thanks to both of you, I appreciate it!

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I think the “proper” way is to spread it and pin it, but I doubt anyone trying to study it in 100 years will complain that it’s in alcohol instead

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