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My name is Dino J. Martins, I am a Kenyan entomologist and I love insects. The Kiswahili word for insect is dudu and if you didn't know already, insects rule the world! Thanks to the amazing efforts of the 'little things that run the world' I was humbled to be selected as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. This blog is a virtual dudu safari through the fascinating world of bugs. Enjoy, leave a comment and send any questions or comments to me through: insects.eanhs@gmail.com

Celebrating East African Pollinator Diversity!

Dear All Many greetings from the rainforest in Western Kenya! Am very pleased to share with you a recently complete book featuring and celebrating pollinator diversity in East Africa. You can download the book through link by clicking on the cover image below: Click on image above to go to the page where you can…

Mama Scorpion in Turkana, Kenya

Dear All – greetings from the Turkana Basin Institute in Northern Kenya. This afternoon while I was working in my lab I heard a soft rustling noise coming from the waste-paper basket. At first I thought that yet another careless gecko had gotten itself trapped, but on closer inspection found a small scorpion hiding within.…

Rainforest Bugs and Best Wishes for 2014!

I have been exploring the Kakamega Forest in Western Kenya over the last few days. The forest is sparkling with life after the heavy rains from earlier this month. It has been wonderful taking long quiet walks in the forest to look at insects and birds and ponder the meaning of life. Here are a…

Honeybees Pollinating Passionfruit in Kenya!

Greetings from the Kerio Valley in Northwestern Kenya. This beautiful valley, an extension of the magnificent Great Rift Valley, is one of my favorite places. It is a veritable paradise for bees and other insects that live in the valleys’ forests, acacia-woodlands and rugged escarpments. The Kerio Valley is also home to thousands of small-scale…

Weird Desert Scale-Insect Sex!

Dear All – Many greetings from Northern Kenya. Sharing some photos here from an encounter yesterday that make it worth being an entomologist. We have had some incredible rains up here in Turkana in northern Kenya. These have produced an outburst of life with lots of dormant insects waking up and furiously getting to work…

Spider captures Potter Wasp (in my lab!)

Earlier today I heard a loud buzzing noise in my lab here at the Turkana Basin Institute in northern Kenya. There are a number of wasps who make their home in the lab. These wasps construct nests from mud, which they then stock with paralyzed caterpillars or spiders as food for their larvae. Today however,…

The Golden Ground-Nesting Bee!

In keeping with the theme of where bees nest… A few weeks ago walking back in the evening from a day of looking at bees on farms, I noticed something sparkle on the path. All alone with nowhere to go?   Peering closer I discovered that it was a beautiful Seladonia bee and I wondered…

A Bee that Weaves her Nest!

On a recent visit to Kakamega Forest in Western Kenya I noticed one of my favourite bees (a bee called Pseudoanthidium, also known as Carder Bees for their nesting habits) buzzing about near the windows. It was flying back and forth from the edge of the forest. This pretty bee is marked in black and…

Giant Carpenter Bees in Tanzania!

More from the enigmatic world of bees and flowers: On a recent hike in southern Tanzania at the edge of the Uluguru Mountains I came across one of East Africa’s largest bee: the Giant Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa nigrita). This is just one of the thousands of wild bee species that occur in Africa. Female Giant…

Bees Pollinating Cucumbers in Kenya!

Hello – greetings from Turkana in Northern Kenya… I am up here at the Turkana Basin Institute and spent some time watching bees pollinating the cucumbers being cultivated at the institute today. Cucumbers are one of my favourite salad items and make a refreshing snack up here in the desert at lunchtime. Cucumbers are yet…

Bees in the Kerio Valley, Kenya.

I just spent a lovely day looking at bees in the Kerio Valley (one of my favourite parts of the world!). An extension of the Great Rift Valley in northwestern Kenya, the Kerio Valley is a beautiful and diverse landscape that is especially rich in bees. The Kerio Valley is also home to a large…

Pollinator breakfast in Kenya

Hello – Pollinators are responsible for about ONE IN THREE bites of food that we consume. Some two-thirds of all flowering plants on the planet are dependent on pollinators, most of them are wild insects and many of those are bees. Perhaps we don’t realize it, but pollinators are connected to the food that we…

Bees and Butterflies from Tanzania

Hello! Many greetings. I’ve been exploring different parts of East Africa and would like to share some of the wonderful insects that I encountered here. I recently went hiking in the Pugu Hills which are near the port city of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. These hills contain some precious fragments of forests that once…

Bees in the bush working hard!

Many greetings, the rains over the last couple of months have brought forth some wonderful flowers out on the plains in Kenya. All the animals and plants are happy and full of life. Now with the mix of sunshine and abundant flowers, it is a fantastic time for the bees who are out and about…

Rainforest Katydid Hide-and-Seek

Hello! Many greetings from the rainforest in Western Kenya. As an entomologist in search of bugs, one quickly learns that many different kinds of insects are experts at hiding. They are masters of camouflage, and can make themselves ‘invisible’ even in broad daylight by blending in with their surroundings. Here is an example of a…