14 | 12 | 2018
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Invertebrates of Menengai Caldera, Kenya

Invertebrate comprises of different species of Insects, Arachnids, Diplopoda Mollusca, Annelida, Crustaceans and many more. Their diversity and abundance are key determinants of an ecosystem health. The team set out to determine the diversity of insect species of Menengai caldera and its environs, and recorded a total of 60 invertebrate species in the Orders Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Hemiptera, Diptera, Gastropoda and Coleopteran. Although the area is slightly highland most of the Lepidoptera found were savannah and a few forest species.
This is phenomenon commonly associated with disturbed forest ecosystem. The emergence of savannah species in these forests is a signal that they are undergoing ecological changes. There were no endemic, rare or new species recorded in this study, though certain butterflies? species such as Neocoenyra gregori and Antarnatia abyssinica are recognized forest specialized range species.
This suggests that conservation of these areas is vital for promoting range-restricted species. We recommend further detailed studies in order to document the true status of key indicator species of the forests. The documentation of savannah and forest species is a strong indication that these areas have the necessary ecological characteristics to conserve savannah and forest specialized invertebrates. In this regard, efforts are required to maintain and improve the current forest conservation status.
1.1.1. Materials and Methods /Sample collection and identification Timed sweep netting and pitfall trapping Sweep nets were used to collected invertebrates on plants at the five study sites from 09 hrs to 14 hrs across the various parts of the Caldera. This method was used to sample insects at randomly chosen transects using sweep nets and 10 pitfall traps, for a fixed period at selected sections. Nocturnal invertebrates were sampled at night using light traps. The sampling was strategically carried out to ensure most of the habitats were covered. The collected samples were stored in ethanol, labeled and transported to the National Museums of Kenya at the Invertebrate Section for identification. After sorting, setting and pinning, the specimens were dried in an oven at 37?C for two (2) days. The specimens were then identified using various taxonomic keys and the invertebrate scientific collection including confirmation of the taxonomy butterflies through Larsen (1996) at the Invertebrate section of the National Museums of Kenya.
There were 60 species of invertebrates recorded from the entire study (Table 2). The highest record was from the forest adjacent to the Wanyororo B borehole drill site (lower area) where there was no much disturbance.


Jackson Raini


Tel: 0712176699 ;


Email: jackson


Cheryle Robinson




Julius Muchemi




The following is a breakdown of charges at Menengai Crater's Gate.
1. Adults Residents ( Including East Africa ) Kes 400
2. Adult Non-Residents (Including non East Africa) Kes 600
3. Child  Non Residents kes 150
4. Child Residents kes 100
5. School Groups kes 50
6. Vehicle (Free)
7. Tour Guide (Day) Kes 1000
Contact: Forester, Kenya Forest Service, Menengai Forest Station.
The above rates are subject to revision

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