Entomological Museum of Volos – Volos, Greece - Atlas Obscura

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Entomological Museum of Volos

Volos, Greece

This little-known, 35,000-specimen collection in Greece is a lepidopterist's dream.  


Doctor Athanasios Koutroumpas has had a lifelong preoccupation with the collection of insects. It’s only proper, then, that a lifetime of beautiful, systematic hoarding should result in a museum the Victorians would have lost their minds over.

Today it’s called the Entomological Museum of Volos, though it remains a little-known repository of wonder to those not active in the field of entomology.

Though just a few rooms in size, the museum is anything but a static work of preservation. Koutroumpas’ collection is ever-expanding, with new species constantly being added to enrich the context of its extant specimens. At present the museum contains 35,000 different insects of various species, many of which are considered quite rare or unique. 

Among an entomological diversity that spans the globe, the museum at Volos is populated most densely by lepidoptera – better known as butterflies. Nabokov’s second-favorite obsession has found a home here in droves. The lepidoptera collection at Volos currently numbers more than 10,000 species, subspecies and genus. Koutroumpas’ museum has these weightless treasures precisely arranged and classified according to the international rules of the Statistical Entomology. One of the standout specimens is that of the Thysania Agrippina, found only in South America, which is regarded as the world’s largest known butterfly thanks to its wingspan of 40 centimeters.

Hailing from disparate parts of Greece and Europe, and bolstered by specimens from the farthest reaches of the world’s corners, the species on display were gathered during trips made either by Koutroumpas himself, or contributed by his international colleagues.

This collective mentality ensures that so long as expeditions are undertaken into our planet’s unexpected reaches, the Entomological Museum of Volos will continue to grow and evolve, in a manner quite befitting its subject matter.

Know Before You Go

Book an appointment to view the collection by calling the museum. 

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