Ants: The ultimate social insects


Ants: The ultimate social insects Author: Format: Hardback First Published: Published By: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC View more from this series: British Wildlife Collection
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Pages: 368 Illustrations and other contents: 330 colour photos and b/w illustrations Language: English ISBN: 9781472964861 Categories: , , , , , , , Tag:

Ants: The ultimate social insects – British Wildlife Collection Number 11

Ants are seemingly everywhere, and this familiarity has led to some contemptuous and less than helpful stereotypes. In this compelling insight into the natural and cultural history of ants, Richard Jones helps to unravel some of the myths and misunderstanding surrounding their remarkable behaviours. Ant aggregations in large (often mind-bogglingly huge) nests are a complex mix of genetics, chemistry, geography and higher social interaction. Their forage trails – usually to aphid colonies but occasionally into the larder – are maintained by a wondrous alchemy of molecular scents and markers. Their social colony structure confused natural philosophers of old and still taxes the modern biologist today.

Ants The ultimate social insects begins with a straightforward look at ant morphology, Jones then explores the ant species found in the British Isles and parts of nearby mainland Europe, their foraging, nesting, navigating and battle instincts, how ants interact with the landscape, their evolution, and their place in our understanding of how life on earth works. Alongside this, he explores the complex relationship between humans and ants, and how ants went from being the subject of fables and moral storytelling to become popular research tools.

Drawing on up-to-date science and featuring striking colour photographs throughout, this book presents a convincing case for why ants are worth our greater recognition and respect.

Table of Contents

1 What’s so special about ants?
2 What is an ant?
3 The ants of Britain and Ireland
4 Evolution of ants
5 Being an everyday ant
6 The rise of the colony
7 Human interactions with ants
8 Ant interactions with other species
9 Ants in the landscape
10 How to study ants
Appendix: Identification key
Illustration credits
Weight1.4 kg





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I didn't think I wanted to know much about ants but I was drawn into this book by the tales that the author tells and the way he tells them. It's a treat. * Mark Avery * Readable, popular and amusing -- Adrian Knowles * British Wildlife * Entomologist and author Richard Jones brings his expertise and accessible writing to the latest book in the British Wildlife Collection series. This time the focus is on the "easily overlooked and usually misunderstood" ants, and why they are so extraordinary. * BBC Wildlife * Full of the passion, depth and excitement that only a genuine ant expert and enthusiast could convey ... Jones has poured a lot of his life and a good dollop of soul into this book. -- Seirian Sumner * Royal Entomological Society * There is something here to suit all exponents of natural history, from the curious beginner to the seasoned entomologist. The author easily captures the attention of the most casual ant-watcher -- Adrian Knowles * British Wildlife * The latest from the excellent Bloomsbury Wildlife Collection. -- Stephen Moss

Author Biography

Richard Jones is a nationally acclaimed entomologist, a fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, fellow of the Linnean Society, and past president of the British Entomological and Natural History Society. He has been fascinated by wildlife since a childhood exploring the South Downs and Sussex Weald in search of plants and insects. He now writes about insects, nature and the environment for BBC Wildlife, Gardeners' World, Countryfile, The Sunday Times, New Scientist and the Guardian and has regular television and radio appearances on programmes such as Home Planet, Woman's Hour, Natural Histories, Open Country and Springwatch Unsprung. Richard has written several books on science and wildlife including Nano Nature, Extreme Insects, The Little Book of Nits, House Guests: House Pests, Call of Nature and the Beetles volume in the New Naturalist series.

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