African Natural History Research Trust


The African Natural History Research Trust (ANHRT) is dedicated to the study of Afrotropical insects, primarily butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera). Our scientists and curators publish peer-reviewed papers on the ever-growing research collection, regularly collaborating with and making our collections available to the international research community. Our major research themes include taxonomy, faunistics and biogeography, utilising modern molecular as well as traditional morphological techniques. Our state of the art laboratories have ample bench space for staff and visiting researchers with a wide range of specialist scientific equipment and literature.



ANHRT has a team of staff dedicated to organising and conducting research expeditions to a wide range of countries in Africa, in collaboration with host institutions and government bodies. Due to the rapid growth of industry in Africa, remote and often unique habitats are being lost or damaged beyond repair; ANHRT endeavour to gather data and understand the insect diversity in these localities before it is too late.  Where possible, we revisit the same collecting sites over several years and at different seasons to build up a picture of the insect fauna at each site. We are always looking for new locations to visit in order to further our understanding of the insect diversity in Africa. All sampling work is carried out with the utmost respect for the local environment, fauna and the people.

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Museum Collections

ANHRT was established as a charitable trust in 2010. Based in Herefordshire, the climate-controlled building currently houses nearly 500,000 mounted Lepidoptera specimens and roughly double that number of papered specimens. The dry and wet Diptera collections contain nearly 1 million specimens whilst other orders such as Mantodea, Orthoptera, Neuroptera, Hemiptera and Odonata are represented by tens of thousands of specimens. Our mission is to promote collections-based faunistic and taxonomic research whilst safeguarding these important collections and scientific resources for future generations.

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The objectives of ANHRT are to advance the education of the public in general on the subject of African natural history and to promote research for the public benefit in all aspects of that subject and publish or exhibit the useful results.

What do we do...?

We are a charity dedicated to the research and conservation of Afrotropical insects.

Our aims are:

  • To educate the public on the subject of African natural history and to promote research for the public benefit.
  • To establish an important reference collection of African insects, particularly moths and butterflies.
  • To undertake research expeditions in Africa, working alongside local institutions to sample in remote and unique habitats.
  • To identify the specimens collected on the expeditions and make them available for international researchers, with the aim of discovering and describing new species.
  • To publish the results of the research in peer-reviewed international journals

Building a reference collection provides opportunity for researchers from around the world to study specimens from hitherto poorly-studied areas. As the collection grows, we will make a significant contribution to the knowledge of the insect diversity of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Due to the rapid growth of industry in Africa, these remote and often unique habitats are being lost or damaged beyond repair. Where possible, we revisit collecting sites to conduct long-term surveys on insect diversity.

Our Museum

African Natural History Research Trust (ANHRT) was established as a charitable trust in 2010.

In 2016 work began to create a purpose-built research centre and museum in the heart of the beautiful Herefordshire countryside. The collections are housed in a mixture of historic cabinets and modern entomology compactors and look after by our team of curators, researchers and specimen preparators. There is a dedicated research space and to aid identification there is a well-stocked library boasting rare volumes on African entomology not readily available online. Best practice is at the heart of all our work, coupled with an intensive Integrated Pest Management programme.

We strive to develop our reputation as an institution at the forefront of African entomological research. We work in partnership with other institutions around the world to facilitate PhD students, specialists, and researchers.