Hi Mr. Ferro,

Here at the Montreal University entomological collection, I also freeze dry soft-bodied insects for display but also for the scientific collection. For example, caterpillars which are mostly identified by the color paterns and their shapes, undergo several steps for preservation at the lab. In short, they are slightly inflated and then freeze-dry. Specimens of the same species are also put in alcool vials. This is, to my opinion, a good strategy for all soft-bodied species that lose their identification characters in alcool.

For what I've observed, the organs of freeze-dried specimen tend to be less distorted than if they were dried at room temperature (RT). When dried at RT, the organs then to fall at the bottom of the body (gravity...).

hope its helps.

On Fri, Jul 8, 2016 at 12:55 PM, Mike Ferro <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Is anyone out there freeze drying specimens? Is there any work on what happens to DNA or the internal anatomy of a freeze dried specimen?


Pinned specimens (or at least specimens not in alcohol) tend to be more "available" to the public in displays, and most specimens are bleached by alcohol preservation. Freeze drying might offer a way to preserve different characters and make more visually appealing displays.


Any advice, etc. is appreciated.





Michael L. Ferro
Collection Manager, Clemson University Arthropod Collection (CUAC)
Dept. of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
MAIL: 277 Poole Agricultural Center
OFFICE: 307 Long Hall
Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0310
Subject Editor: The Coleopterists Bulletin; Insecta Mundi

Étienne Normandin - Coordonnateur des collections
Collection entomologique Ouellet-Robert
Institut de recherche en biologie végétale
514 343-6111  labo, poste: 82703 / bureau, poste: 83151