Natural History Museum Of Zimbabwe

Entomology in Zimbabwe

Entomology – The Study of insects from the from Greek entomos meaning “that which is cut in pieces or engraved/segmented”, hence “insect”.

Dorothy Madamba
Dorothy Madamba

The Entomology department was established in 1911 and is one of the oldest scientific research departments in the Natural History Museum of Bulawayo and holds the largest collection of insects. The size of the collection is estimated at about 5 million insect specimens and is one of the largest collections of insects in Africa. A tiny percentage of the insect specimens are on public displays in the galleries and the rest are housed in the George Arnold Entomological laboratory.

A lot of great names in entomology have contributed to the collection. We owe the remnants of the Hymenoptera collection to Dr. George Arnold’s work (See Past Curators), a magnificent Lepidoptera and Odonata collection due to Dr. Elliot Pinhey’s lifetime effort in collecting and research. Dr. David Hancock contributed immensely to the current collection with his work on fruit flies, Tephritidae and B.L. Mitchell did extensive work on the order Isoptera and his wet collection is housed in the department.

The collection houses over 3,200 types, including 420 Holotypes, reflecting the outstanding research undertaken in this department.

Current and Future Research Areas

Today the department has two Entomologists (Ms. Dorothy Madamba HOD, and Ms Kudzai Mafuwe) and three curatorial assistants who have undertaken a monitoring program in the Matobo Hills.

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258 reviews on
David Reason
David Reason
26/01/2021
This is a fabulous treasure for Zimbabwe with around 7 separate galleries of very well presented exhibits such as geology, entomology, herpetology, African mammals, colonial history, local African tribes, astronomy, humankind and mycology (fungi). It also houses hundreds of thousands of specimens in around 10 Collections, including arachnids, Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), birds, snakes, plants and fungi - these Collections can be seen but by appointment only. The museum staff are pleasant and knowledgeable. There is an onsite café to pick up a snack or two and a public library of really interesting natural history books. There is also good info on the two World Heritage sites managed by the museum, these being the Matobo World View site and the Khami Ruins which are also magical places to go and visit!
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Angel Bert
Angel Bert
05/12/2020
It was lovely experience
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Fritz Madida
Fritz Madida
03/12/2020
Most fascinating collection of historical artefacrs
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CLIVE SIBANDA J
CLIVE SIBANDA J
26/11/2020
Thank you for the important information
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Thabo Pricel
Thabo Pricel
22/11/2020
Amaze balls
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Nkosinathi Mdudo
Nkosinathi Mdudo
07/11/2020
Such an amazing experience
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