A Field Guide to the Ants of New England

Published by Yale University Press (2012)

Buy it now!

About The Field Guide
  • A Field Guide to the Ants of New England is the first user-friendly regional guide devoted to ants—the “little things that run the world.” Lavishly illustrated with more than 500 line drawings, 300-plus photographs, and regional distribution maps as composite illustrations for every species, the Field Guide introduces amateur and professional naturalists and biologists, teachers and students, and environmental managers and pest-control professionals to the more than 140 ant species found in the northeastern United States and eastern Canada.

    The Field Guide’s three different kinds of identification keys—graphical, illustrated matrix, and traditional dichotomous—along with detailed species descriptions, line drawings, and high-magnification photographs, will allow anyone to identify and learn about ants and their diversity, ecology, life histories, and beauty. The Field Guide also includes sections on collecting ants, ant ecology and evolution, natural history, and patterns of geographic distribution and diversity to help readers gain a greater understanding and appreciation of ants.

  • New names for old ants: taxonomic and nomenclatural changes since The Field Guide was published in 2012.
  • Corrections and errata: download a pdf of pages marked-up with suggested changes
  • Maps and data (via the Environmental Data Initiative)
  • Get involved! Look for ants and add to what we know about the distribution and abundance of ants in New England.
Awards for The Field Guide
Quotable Praise for The Field Guide
  • This ground-breaking field guide not only contributes to our basic knowledge of ants, but places the ants of New England within reach of those interested in the natural history of the region.—Edward O. Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University
  • This goes beyond any ant book that has come before it and puts it in line with the popular and best bird books on the market….readable and easy to use by non-experts.—Sean MenkeLake Forest College
  • …a great combination of natural history, a little anecdote, and gorgeous inspired figures.—Michael KaspariUniversity of Oklahoma
  • …[Will] appeal to [anyone] interested in insects or natural history in general, as well as those who are truly ant enthusiasts.Jane O’DonnellUniversity of Connecticut
  • This…is phenomenal! …a fantastic job [and] will be very usable for all students. …I love the natural history and details about all the ants- especially the names! The matrix keys are GREAT and really helpful.—Katherine Bennett, 5th grade teacher, John R. Briggs School, Ashburnham, Massachusetts
  • The book is wonderful. I never have seen a book with so much information together about biology, ecology, morphology, taxonomy, keys to speciesand pictures. All myrmecologists will want a copy.—Rogério R. SilvaMuseu Paraense Emílio Goeldi
  • What a gorgeous field guide! Congratulations on such a comprehensive and USEFUL resource. —Joan HerbersOhio State University
  • The descriptions for the various Formica species groups are the best I’ve seen, and the drawings throughout are absolutely excellent. —Adam ClarkUniversity of Graz
  • Your field guide is a really fascinating and interesting book. I like the matrix keys, at the beginning of the book and look forward to testing them with specimens. The combination of drawings and photographs provides a useful tool.Claude Pilon, Entomofaune du Québec
  • What a wonderful addition to the entomological world! There are so many features that make it exceptional: The keys by size on the front flyleaf, the basics of ant anatomy on the back, the arrows on the diagrams, distribution maps, interesting notes on species, the background material and biography. Delightful!.—Charlene Donahue, Maine Entomological Society
  • [The Field guide is] a gateway drug (to more advanced books on ants, including Journey to the Ants: A Story of Scientific Exploration by Bert Hölldobler and E. O. Wilson). —Bruce Fellman, in the Naturalist’s Journal, Southern Rhode Island Newspapers.
  • A Field Guide to the Ants of New England appears to be destined to be known, at least in myrmecological circles, as the ‘New England Bible.’James Traniello, in The Quarterly Review of Biology.
Discussion: reviews, blogs, audio, video
Book reviews
    • Publisher’s Weekly (27 August 2012) [ pdf ]
    • Noteworthy Books” of the Northeastern Naturalist (Fall 2012)
    • In the Naturalist’s Journal column of the Southern Rhode Island Newspapers (30 November 2012; appeared in Narragansett Times, North Kingstown Standard-Times, Chariho Times, Covernty Courier, and East Greenwich Pendulum) [ pdf ]
    • Riutta, J. 2012. The Well-read Naturalist. December 2012 [ pdf html direct from The Well-read Naturalist ]
    • King, J. R. and J. C. Trager. 2013. Myrmecological News 18: 59-60. [ pdf ]
    • Lubertazzi, D. 2013. Rhode Island Natural History Survey, posted January 29, 2013 [ html direct from RINHS ]
    • Waltermire, J. 2013. Northern Woodlands 20(1): 68. [ pdf ]
    • Anonymous. 2013. Off the Shelf. Harvard Magazine March-April 2013: 16 [ pdf html direct from Harvard Magazine ]
    • Anonymous. 2013. The Green (Quote unquote). Vermont Quarterly Spring 2013: 12 [ pdf ]
    • Anonymous. 2013. Spotlight Books, Ecology 94 (3): 770 [ external link ]
    • Brass, D. A. 2013. Review in Choice Review [ pdf ]
    • Anonymous. 2013. Review in Wings, Fall 2013 [ pdf ]
    • Traniello, J. F. A. 2013. Review in Quarterly Review of Biology 88: 360 [ pdf ]
On the blogs and in the clouds
Over the airwaves
On the silver screen
    • Aaron Ellison talks about how forest ants will respond to climatic change [ watch on the Harvard Forest web site | watch on YouTube ]
    • Nick Gotelli and Aaron Ellison talk about experiments on forest ants and climatic change in Emerging Science on Vermont Public Television [ watch on the VPTV website (dead link) ]

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