How to Preserve a Dead Butterfly

By braniac; Updated April 24, 2017
Monarch Butterfly

Entomology is a unique process in which you can preserve the original look of the bug species of your choosing. Many people like to preserve a dead butterfly so it will remain as bright and beautiful as it was when it was alive. You can preserve any butterflies with this method, even a large monarch butterfly.

Cut out a small piece of Styrofoam that is larger than the butterfly.

Lay the butterfly flat on its back on the Styrofoam. Make sure the wings are flush against the Styrofoam and not bent at all. Poke a pin through the thorax or center body part of the butterfly and into the Styrofoam to hold the butterfly in place.

Place the butterfly in the freezer for several days, this will allow for the wings and body to dry in this position.

Remove the Styrofoam piece with the butterfly on it from the freezer. Pull the pin out of the butterfly thorax. Push the top of the pin into a new display piece of Styrofoam. Gently slide the butterfly, top up onto the pin (push the pin through the butterfly body again and avoid touching the butterfly wings).


Get the butterfly in the freezer as soon as possible after it dies to preserve it correctly.