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Ants of North America: A Guide to the Genera Paperback – November 2, 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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"

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
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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 0.5 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 (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #229,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
"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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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 generic level. He provides current higher taxonomic placement of the genus to subfamily, number of species in the genus for North America, the key diagnostic characters for the genus to go along with the excellent color facial and lateral pictures of representative species in the genus, and distribution information of some species along with their ecology. The Beginning of the book provides an excellent taxonomic key to the genera with helpful line drawings of the key characters. The end of the book gives a species list for North America, a glossary of terms used in the keys and generic descriptions and a reference list of primary papers on each genus. There has been a dire need among ant workers for an update of Creighton's monumental work of Ants of North America in 1950. This work, provides in a compact format, all that is needed to identify any ant collected in North America to genus. I highly recommend this reference to any naturalist interested in this fascinating group of insects.
Dawn F (NC)
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