Survey and inventory of Kenyan Hymenoptera

As the countries of sub-Saharan Africa experience substantial economic growth so has the desire to discover and name their biological riches increased, an unchallenged impulse in northern countries but overlooked to date in the south where the biological sciences have been dominated, understandably, by results-driven research.

This project aims to address the large void in fundamental knowledge of the diversity and distribution of Kenya’s insects. We have chosen to study the megadiverse and ecologically important Hymenoptera, focusing particularly on the parasitic wasps, many of which play an important role in control of insect pests of plants.

To generate as much published data as possible we rely on an inexpensive trapping regime using Malaise traps in diverse habitats and elevations. We match subsamples of the collections with the interests of taxonomists in various countries around the world,facilitating the identification of previously described species and the naming and description of new species.


  • icipe core funds


  • National Museums of Kenya
  • USDA and US National Museum of Natural History (Elijah Talamas, Matthew Buffington, David Adamski, Scott Miller and John Brown)
  • Museum of Central Africa, Tervuren, (Marc De Meyer)
  • Tropical Entomology Research Center, Viterbo Italy and University of Tuscia, (Massimo Olmi)
  • INRA, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Orleans, France, Alain Roques
  • Pennsylvania State University, USA (Istvan Miko and Andy Deans)