Campbell, Heather, Benjamin Blanchard (Authors)

Plentiful and familiar, ants make up an estimated one-third of the world’s insect biomass and can be found in virtually every part of the globe, from rainforest canopies to city sidewalks. But their importance is about more than numbers: ants are fundamental species in a range of habitats, their interactions with plants, fungi, and other animals ensuring the survival of many fragile and complex ecosystems. This beautifully illustrated book explores the extraordinary diversity of ants and offers insights into their elaborate social systems, investigating the key collective and competitive behaviors that operate within their varied colony structures.

Featuring exceptional close-up photographs and clearly organized thematic chapters, the book covers anatomy, evolution, life cycle, ecology, and other important topics. Each chapter also features profiles of stand-out genera, chosen for their fascinating characteristics, including Leafcutter Ants who build nests containing up to 7,000 chambers, Pugnacious Ants whose colonies can destroy populations of crabs within hours, and Honeypot Ants whose worker caste store food in their stomachs for other colony members to consume. Drawing on current research, Ants offers an inviting and accessible introduction to these remarkable insects.

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Princeton University Press, February 2023. 224 pages, paperback, 215 colour photographs, 44 maps