Ants of North America: A Guide to the Genera
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Ants of North America: A Guide to the Genera [Paperback]

Brian L. Fisher , Stefan P. Cover
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 2, 2007
Ants are among the most conspicuous and the most ecologically important of insects. This concise, easy-to-use, authoritative identification guide introduces the fascinating and diverse ant fauna of the United States and Canada. It features the first illustrated key to North American ant genera, discusses distribution patterns, explores ant ecology and natural history, and includes a list of all currently recognized ant species in this large region.

* New keys to the 73 North American ant genera illustrated with 250 line drawings ensure accurate identification

* 180 color images show the head and profile of each genus and important species groups

* Includes a glossary of important terms

Frequently Bought Together

Ants of North America: A Guide to the Genera + A Field Guide to the Ants of New England + Beetles of Eastern North America
Price for all three: $90.44

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Editorial Reviews


“A valuable book. [It] will enlighten anyone with even a slight interest in ants. . . . This book promises to inspire a whole new generation of ant biologists.”
(Quarterly Review Of Biology 2008-06-01)

From the Inside Flap

"In this enormously useful book, a profound need is met by a profound contribution, the first such comprehensive work in over fifty years. While brief, Ants of North America is the distillation of a vast amount of study and practice. It is a joy to browse and read, and will have an important impact on the study of ants."—Edward O. Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University

"Two of the most prolific ant faunists have produced a marvelous taxonomic guide to the ant genera of North America. The keys and genus descriptions are succinct and easy to read, the illustrations superb. This book is a must for entomologists, ecologists, and particularly all who study ants."—Bert Hölldobler, Foundation Professor of Life Sciences, Arizona State University

"This book represents a bold advance in the study of North American ants. It provides, for the first time, an accessible and lavishly illustrated guide to all the ant genera occurring in the United States and Canada. It will greatly enhance both public interest in ants and scientific investigation of their ecology, behavior and evolution."—Philip S. Ward, Department of Entomology and Center for Population Biology, University of California at Davis

Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (November 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520254228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520254220
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.6 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #273,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Guide to the Life Underfoot! November 24, 2007
Ants are one of the groups of organisms that I found fascinating from an early age. I finally settled on spiders, but ants were always in the back of my mind on the numerous field trips on which I went to pursue my eight-legged quarry. However, guides to ants were few and far between and when I was given a copy of Creighton's "The Ants of North America" I was almost as confused as I was before. While the illustrations were good, the descriptions and keys were a bit difficult and of course even by the time I was given the book, it was quite dated.

We have long needed a book such as Brian Fisher and Stefan Cover have produced in "Ants of North America: A Guide to the Genera". Among other things the photos of actual specimens are a great help in determining the genera (and in some cases sub-genera) that anyone might encounter in a backyard or in the wild. The keys are both very good and well illustrated. A good hand lens will be sufficient with many, but the size of some requires a good binocular dissecting microscope (one reason that ants are less popular than butterflies, dragonflies or even moths). Still both professional entomologists and serious amateurs will find this book very useful as a first step in the identification of the ant fauna.

Because I am a professional biologist and an entomologist I found that, although I do not know the authors, I do know at least six of the people listed in the acknowledgements - such is the small size of the entomological community.

I recommend this book highly and only wish that something like it was available when I was becoming interested in the tiny life around us.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful and beautiful new ant guide is here! September 12, 2007
By Zach
"Ants of North America: A Guide to the Genera" by Brian Fisher and Stefan Cover is quite simply the best identification guide (down to the genus level) available for these fascinating insects.

Combining straightforward identification keys that contain excellent line drawings of pertinent ant features with April Nobile's detailed automontage pictures, this publication functions both as a "working book" and a page-by-page display of the true beauty and diversity of these ants.

The alphabetical method of ordering the genera descriptions is also to be saluted. As the subfamily level gets re-shuffled over the years, the alphabet stays the same, and so provides a user-friendly way to thumb through the genera.

All of the genus listings contain both a head-on and lateral picture of the ant, along with diagnostic remarks and brief distribution and ecological information.

This book belongs on the bookshelf and lab workbench of every myrmecologist, and certainly any ecologist that works within the conservation field performing biodiversity surveys. It has been said that you cannot begin to understand the species you are trying to preserve if you cannot identify them, and so this book will allow any ecologist with basic entomology skills the ability to identify, as E.O. Wilson describes ants, the "little things that run the world."
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Handbook For Ant Genera April 23, 2008
This book provides a wonderful doorway into the art of ant identification. The keys are well tested and current. The photographs of a representative ant from each genus are stunning. The lists of North American genera and species are very useful as is the list of literature for identifying species. I wish I had had this book 30 years ago when I first started learning to identify ants! This is a must have book for everyone who studies North American ants. It should also be in the libraries of all field stations and any institution of higher learning that teaches classes in the natural sciences.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most helpful book on ants I have come across January 31, 2008
By Bombus
I am a myrmecologist, and this is definitely the most helpful (and portable) ant key I have come across.

It is full of excellent illustrations and intuitive couplets, but aving said that, this book deals only with genera found in the USA, not whole North America.

The first part of the book is the dichotomous key, whereas the second part describes each genus in detail (ecology, morphological characteristics, the most recent literature dealing with that genus, etc.)

The authors have even managed to squeeze in a couple of (ant) jokes and funny anecdotes into this part of the text.
The last part of the book contains the list of all known species in North America.

The authors have made one mistake that I am aware of, and that is on page 111, where they state that genus Monomorium has 11 antennal segmnents while they actually have 12.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An instant classic December 8, 2008
By Scooter
This book fills a long-empty niche. There is a century-long collection of wonderful ant taxonomy books and books on ant biology and natural history. However many of the technical references are either out-of-date or too dense for all but the most serious myrmecologists. And many of the references are not as richly illustrated as Fisher and Cover's book. The keys in "Ants of North America" are fairly easy to dive into even without an advanced biology degree. When stuck, the glossary and index are useful. The only minor suggestion/criticism, book does not lay flat when open, making it difficult to read while working at a microscope.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for ID and natural history info.
This helps fill a niche in my library and will definitely make ant identification much easier. I'm going to look over some of my old specimens and check ID accuracy.
Published 17 months ago by craig sondergaard
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Intrioduction to Ants!
I am an entomologist who is interested in ants associated with treehoppers. Brian Fisher's guide to Ant Genera of North America is an excellent guide for ant identification at the... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Dawn
5.0 out of 5 stars Ants Rule
The best information about ants in the world. I got my degree in Entomology at UCD and know the information is right on.
Published 18 months ago by Diana DeSoto
5.0 out of 5 stars Ants of North America
I wish I had this book 20 (even 50) years ago. Even though I am a Master Naturalist, I have just recently realized how important ants are both around home (sometimes a pest) and on... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Troy Mullens
5.0 out of 5 stars Ants
I am ecstatic to have received my book in the mail. I expected it to be bigger but am delighted that I'll have no issue whatsoever carrying it around with me in the field. Read more
Published on April 4, 2011 by AgressiveInlienrs
4.0 out of 5 stars Ants of North America Review
This book is an excellent on-the-go resource for identifying ants. However, some of the identification terminology is rather vexing, especially in the case of amateur... Read more
Published on January 13, 2011 by Endagr8
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful guide to ants
The "Ants of North America" is an essential field/laboratory guide. It briefly describes distribution and ecology as well as the typical characteristics of representative species... Read more
Published on September 17, 2009 by William Garnett
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