Lepidoptera collection

Curator: Pavel Bogdanov.

52 568 specimens. It is based on tropical butterflies donated to the museum by a private collector A.S. Khomyakov, as well as purchased by Alexander Kohts from the company of Rosenberg (England) and from the company of A. Blanca, Moscow (in total about 1 000 specimens).

The most notable ones are of the genera Ornithoptera, Trogonoptera, and Troides (a family of Swallowtail butterflies), as well as about 60 specimens of the genus Delias (the Pieridae family), collected in the late 19th - early 20th centuries on the New Guinea island, the Bismarck Archipelago and the Solomon Islands by Albert Meek. A number of these butterflies are part of the museum’s permanent exhibition and are displayed on the 3d floor in the Zoogeography hall.

Another remarkable although not as numerous part of Lepidoptera collection is butterflies (about 50 specimens) collected by Eugène Le Moult in Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, a town in French Guiana at the beginning of the 20th century.


In the 1970s and the 1990s the Museum collection was replenished by private collections of prominent Russian scientists and professors.

About 21 000 specimens - a collection of butterflies from the territory of the former USSR. For example, the selection of the Tien Shan blue (Agriades pheretiades) is represented by more than 250 specimens and covers all known at that time subspecies living in the mountain systems of the Tien Shan and Pamir-Alai.

More than 14 000 specimens of butterflies and moths from not only the territory of the former USSR, but from South America and Southeast Asia, including the Sunda and Maluku Islands, as well as the New Guinea.

Swallowtail butterflies. Since the mid-80s, the museum purchased extensive scientific material from private collectors - 2 530 specimens:

  • 140 specimens of the genus Ornithoptera and Troides
  • 1 000 specimens of various species of the genus Parnassius
  • a number of the Himalayan-Tibetan fauna species
  • about 70 specimens of 40 species of swallowtail butterflies new to the museum's collection.


In recent years, the collection has been replenished mainly by the efforts of the museum’s chief curator Pavel Bogdanov (about 8,000 specimens from various regions of Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Polar Urals and the southern part of Transbaikal), as well as through occasional collections by museum employees, purchases and taxidermy mounts made of old materials received from some Moscow collectors.


The collection materials were used to define a number of new species and subspecies of butterflies on the territory of Russia and neighboring countries (former republics of Central Asia, China, Mongolia).

Currently, the collection contains 627 type specimens (holotypes, paratypes, neotypes) of various species and subspecies of butterflies described in the period between 1993 and 2006, which makes the collection scientifically valuable. Both domestic and foreign lepidopterologists regularly use the materials for their research.

Color photos of about two hundred specimens are used in systematic tables of “Guide to the Butterflies of Russia and adjacent territories” by V.K. Tuzov, P.V. Bogdanov, vol. 1 (1997) and vol. 2 (2000).



The drawer with the Adonis blue (Lysandra bellargus Rott.).


The drawer with the banded Apollo (Parnassius delphius Ev.).