Nature collection


The nature collection reflects the natural environment of the region since ancient times. It houses the museum’s oldest exhibits - minerals and fossils dating back over 500 million years. Stuffings of animals (mostly birds) typical of the Panevėžys region, herbariums of rare plants listed in the Lithuanian Red Book are collected here.


The pride of the museum is the collection of world insects (over 5,000 pcs.) collected by Valerijonas Straševičius. It is rich in exotic insects from Europe, Africa, America, and Oceania that have become extinct today.


Entomologist Valerijonas Straševičius was born on 20 June 1885 in Augustavas manor, grew up in Riga. V. Straševičius graduated from the Riga Gymnasium of Emperor Nikolai I in 1905. After revolution upheaval of 1905-1907 V. Straševičius studied at the Czech Academy of Agriculture in Tabor, later in Belgium, and in autumn of 1910 he became a student at the Faculty of Nature and Chemistry of the University of Kraków.


When a Polish gymnasium was being established in Panevėžys in 1919, V. Straševičius was invited to work as a lecturer and he taught chemistry, physics, astronomy, botany, zoology and calligraphy until 1933. As his health deteriorated, he moved to Naudvaris in 1933. The manor was nationalized in 1940, and in June of 1941, V. Straševičius and his wife and mother-in-law were exiled to Siberia.


Sons of V. Straševičius - Zigmantas and Valerijonas - took part in the movement of the resistance to the occupation and repatriated to Poland at the end of the war. V. Straševičius and his wife lived with his son after returning from exile. 


While still studying in the Czech Republic and Belgium, V. Straševičius became interested in insects, especially butterflies and beetles. They began collecting insects in 1915, systematized, and drew them. After leaving the gymnasium, V. Straševičius focussed on his hobby even more: he bought various insects and insect atlases through insect trade companies, and collected Central European butterflies himself. His insect collection includes over 5,000 unique specimens of butterflies and beetles from around the world.


V. Straševičius died on 10 January 1968, buried in Elblag Cemetery in Poland. During the Second World War, under the care of J. Elisonas and D. Urbas, V. Straševičius’ insect collection and part of the library were brought to Panevėžys Museum.