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Uganda National Insect Collection (NARO)

The Uganda National Insect Collection is a repository of the arthropod collections of the National Insect Museum and Herbarium situated at the National Agricultural Research Laboratories Kawanda (NARL), under the National Agricultural Research Organization. This is the oldest and largest insect collection in the East and Central African regions holding specimens of agricultural and scientific importance.

The collection, estimated at over 20,000 insect specimens, dates back to the 1900s and represents a valuable historical record of agricultural pests in the country and the world at large. It was started by C.C. Gowdey who was a Government Entomologist at the then Department of Agriculture from 1909 to 1921. During his 12 years in Uganda C.C. Gowdey, G.L.R. Hancock, G.D.H. Carpenter, and other co-workers discovered more than 50 new insect species. The collection, therefore, serves as the reference for all insects in Uganda and is the only place where insect taxonomic activities are conducted.

Despite its importance, the existence of this insect collection is relatively unknown. In 1994 the national agricultural research sub-sector was made autonomous and research activities were reorganized from discipline-based to commodity (crop or livestock) based. This led to the shortage of funding for its conservation activities and the museum suffered neglect. A recent initiative by the Biotechnology and Biodiversity Program at NARL is working towards reviving this facility through digitization. Later on, collections from other NARO institutes will follow suit.

Research Assistant: Amos Watentena,, +256786989786 (ORCID #: 0000-0002-9318-9716)
Principal Research Officer: Dr. John Adriko, (ORCID #: 0000-0002-9442-1695)
Collection Type: Preserved Specimens
Management: Live Data managed directly within data portal
Global Unique Identifier: 9b16dd33-d70f-4578-9519-07ee60f1d62c
Digital Metadata: EML File
Rights Holder: National Agricultural Research Organization
Cite this collection:
Uganda National Insect Collection. Occurrence dataset (ID: 9b16dd33-d70f-4578-9519-07ee60f1d62c) accessed via the Ecdysis Portal,, 2024-07-24).
National Agricultural Research Laboratories (NARL) – Kawanda
13 KM Bombo Road
P.O. Box 7065,
Kampala, Uganda   
Collection Statistics
  • 2,253 specimen records
  • 0 georeferenced
  • 687 (30%) identified to species
  • 13 families
  • 130 genera
  • 114 species
  • 117 total taxa (including subsp. and var.)
Extra Statistics
Show Geographic Distribution
Show Family Distribution