AE  Vol.10 No.3 , July 2022
Eco-Climatic Factors Influencing the Distribution of Black Ants (Carebara vidua) in Western Kenya
Abstract: Black ant, Carebara vidua (Smith) is an edible insect of critical value in nutrition. The population abundance of black ants has reduced drastically and they have become scarce in all the agro ecological zones in Western Kenya. Understanding factors influencing the distribution and abundance of C. vidua remains a challenge as C. vidua is an endangered species in many parts of Country Kenya. The decline in the insect population is worrying since black ants are an important source of food across the world. Our study aimed at determining the eco-climatic conditions influencing the distribution of black ants. Several factors and conditions have contributed to the decline in the population of black ants. The study was carried out in different agro ecological zones of Kisumu, Siaya, and Homabay Counties. The research presumed a cross-sectional approach to community representation. The purposive sampling technique was used to select the population for the qualitative study. Data was collected through Focused Group Discussion and Key Informant Interviews to get in-depth knowledge on the factors contributing to the change in the distribution of back ants. Verbatim transcription was done to the audio recorded data then data was translated into English. Thematic analysis was done using ATLAS.ti software version 7.5. The results showed various factors that led to the change in distribution and reduction of the population of black ants emerging across the lower midland zones, the factors include; climate change, advancement in agricultural equipment, land degradation, and habitat destruction. These factors made the emergence of the insect unpredictable. Over the years across the Lower midland zones, there have been changes in the distribution of C. vidua and the population of insects emerging has reduced hence the insect is disappearing.
Cite this paper: Ondede, D. , Ochuodho, D. and Ayieko, M. (2022) Eco-Climatic Factors Influencing the Distribution of Black Ants (Carebara vidua) in Western Kenya. Advances in Entomology, 10, 233-251. doi: 10.4236/ae.2022.103017.

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