Identification guide to the ant genera of the world



From subarctic tundra to equatorial rainforest, deep in the soil and at the tip of the highest tree, ants are found the world over. This book, by the world’s leading ant taxonomist, offers a definitive guide for identifying these ubiquitous insects.

Barry Bolton provides identification keys to all the living ant subfamilies and genera, presented in alphabetical order and separated by zoogeographical region. Designed for professional and amateur myrmecologists alike, this guide is as accessible as it is comprehensive, including information on the function and use of identification keys, instructions for preparing specimens for examination, and an illustrated glossary of morphological terms. Over 500 scanning electron microscope photographs illustrate the taxonomic keys.

Bolton introduces each subfamily with a diagnosis of the group, followed by synoptic classifications of all genera within each subfamily, notes on broad distribution, and a list of references to all species-rank publications useful to identification. He also provides a short summary of the extinct subfamilies and includes a checklist of every name ever proposed in the classification of ants, from the rank of family down to subgenus, showing the current status and usage of each.

An updated and exhaustively expanded revision of the taxonomic keys found in Hölldobler and Wilson’s The Ants, Bolton’s identification guide takes its place alongside that landmark work as the foundation for the study of ants for many years to come.

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  • Introduction
    • Problems of Classification
    • Outline of Zoogeography
    • Preparation of Specimens
    • Organization and Use of the Book
  • The Family Formicidae
    • Diagnosis of the Family Formicidae
    • The Extant Subfamilies
    • Key to Subfamilies Based on External Morphology
    • New Format Key in Subfamilies
  • Subfamilies
    • Subfamily Aenictinae
    • Subfamily Aenictogitoninae
    • Subfamily Aneuretinae
    • Subfamily Apomyrminae
    • Subfamily Cerapachyinae
    • Subfamily Dolichoderinae
    • Subfamily Dorylinae
    • Subfamily Ecitoninae
    • Subfamily Formicinae
    • Subfamily Leptanillinae
    • Subfamily Leptanillodinae
    • Subfamily Myrmeciinae
    • Subfamily Myrmicinae
    • Subfamily Nothomyrmeciinae
    • Subfamily Ponerinae
    • Subfamily Psuedomyrmecinae
    • The Extinct Subfamilies
      • Subfamily Armaniinae
      • Subfamily Formiciinae
      • Subfamily Sphecomyrminae
      • Subfamily Paleosminteurinae
  • References to Faunistic Studies
  • Glossary of Morphological Terms
  • Bibliography
  • Index and Checklist