How To Preserve Dragonfly (Easy Way!)

People preserve insects for their educational purposes or their hobbies. And dragonflies are the most common insect to preserve.

In colleges,

They use the dragonfly to teach about anatomy. Or some people preserve to keep them in their art-house.

No matter what the purposes are, preserving insects is a delicate art. You need someone with experienced and gentle hands to preserve those fragile insects.

We have to be careful while preserving dragonflies because they have delicate wings.

If you don’t know how to preserve dragonflies, then this article will give you the knowledge you wanted.

Most butterflies and dragonflies are fragile, and you have to be careful while preserving them and pinning them.


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Preparation Before Preserving A Dragonfly

You will need some tools to catch the dragonfly and also need more tools to preserve and pin them. Make sure all the important tools are near your hand before catching or preserving a dragonfly.

Things you will need to preserve a dragonfly

  • An insect net to catch dragonflies
  • An airtight plastic container to keep the dragonfly
  • Acetone to preserve dragonfly
  • Butterfly spreading board or styrofoam
  • Wax paper
  • Pins to pin the dragonflies
  • envelope or display case to keep dragonfly fly

The process to preserve a dragonfly


Go outside of your house and catch some dragonflies with an insect net. You can not get to see dragonflies every time so you have to be comprehensive about the right time to catch dragonflies.

Sometimes the dragonflies come mid-morning or in before the sunset from 5 pm to 7 pm.

Make sure you are taking small steps while catching a dragonfly.

Because they hear small details around them and can fly away if there is any noise. Go slowly and put the insect net over the place where the dragonfly is sitting.

After catching the dragonfly, your next step is to kill it.

But make sure to be delicate while taking out the dragonfly because their wings are weak. Hold both wings of the dragonfly and make their abdomen straight.

Now take your airtight container and keep the dragonfly into the container. You have to place the airtight container in the freeze for 24 houses to execute the dragonfly. 

You can also make a killing jar for the dragonfly to kill. Just fill the airtight container half quarter with absorbent material and Acetone (nail polish remover) until the liquids are absorbed.

Then place the dragonfly into the container. Keep in mind there should be no liquid remaining in the container while placing the dragonfly.  Then leave the dragonfly inside the jar and make sure it does quickly.

After the dragonfly dies, take it out from the 1st jar and place the dragonfly into a second jar that is filled with acetone. Soak the dragonfly in the acetone for at least 8 hours.

The acetone will help to preserve your dragonfly’s colors. But make sure not to keep the dragonfly in the acetone for too long. Because soaking the dragonfly for too long in the acetone can make it brittle.

If your dragonfly is large then inject its body with acetone to make sure the dragonfly is preserved well.

After 8 hours, take out the dragonfly from the jaar and now it’s time to pin and keep the dragonfly in the envelope.

Process of Pinning The Dragonfly

People apply a lot of methods to pin the dragonfly.  But there is a simple yet effective method to pin the dragonfly that you can try even if you’re an amateur.

Get a butterfly spread board or styrofoam to place the dragonfly. Then place the dragonfly on the butterfly spread board. Make sure the dragonfly is still wet when you’re pinning it.

You will need insect pins to pin the dragonfly. Get insect pins in sizes 1, 2, or 3 according to the size of the dragonfly.

Lance the dragonfly through their back in the middle between the front set of wings. Make sure to move the wings gently to get them out of the way.

Then pin the insert pin in the center trench or well of the styrofoam or spreading board. Clamp the body of the dragonfly without piercing with dressmaker pins.

You can place the legs and the wings in a certain position if you want by piecing the legs and wings.

Then take your wax paper strips to place them in between the wings of the dragonfly. And hold the wax paper delicately then keep the wings down to the edges.

Clutch the parts of the wings into directions so the left and right wings are straight. Do not pierce the wings and let the dragonfly dry accurately.

Keep in mind you have to dry the dragonfly for 3 days to 7 days and keep them away from the bugs.  When the dragonfly is dry, remove the pins and wax papers.

Then unpin your dragonfly, take it away from the butterfly scoreboard. And finally, place the dragonfly in a display case or in an envelope to show.


How do you preserve the color of a dragonfly?

You need acetone to preserve the color of a dragonfly. The color of the dragonfly washes away quickly so you have to preserve the color by soaking them into the acetone for 8-10 hours.

What can I do with a dead dragonfly?

You can preserve a dead dragonfly in a display picture with some simple methods. Put the dragonfly into a kill jar then take it out after 8 hours. Then pin the dragonfly and let it dry. After that let the dragonfly dry and keep them in a display case.


Dragonflies are very beautiful insects and everyone loves to preserve them. But a delicate touch is much needed while preserving a dragonfly. That’s why you need the knowledge of how to preserve dragonflies accurately.  And those who don’t know need to know the right method.

Make sure to read our whole article to gather all the knowledge of preserving dragonflies. We hope this article is effective for you to know about dragonflies.

Peter Robert

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