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Did you know that for every human on earth, there are about one million ants? They are among the longest-lived insects – with some ant queens passing the thirty-year mark – as well as some of the strongest. Fans of both the city and countryside alike, ants decompose dead wood, turn over soil (in some places more than earthworms), and even help plant forests by distributing seeds. But while fewer than thirty of the nearly one thousand ant species living in North America are true pests, we cringe when we see them marching across our kitchen floors. Spiders face a similar problem: despite their magnificent talents for crafting webs, capturing mosquitoes, and camouflage, for millennia arachnophobia has hampered our ability to appreciate these eight-legged and -eyed marvels.
No longer! In these witty, accessible, and beautifully illustrated guides, Eleanor Spicer Rice and her coauthors metamorphose creepy-crawly revulsion into ant-and-spider wonder. Emerging from the ambitious citizen science project Your Wild Life, each guide offers an eye-opening entomological overview and describes the natural history of notable species. Highlights of geographically focused installments include contributions to Ants of Chicago from E. O. Wilson and Field Museum ant scientist Corrie Moreau, as well as insight into the ant denizens of New York's subways and Central Park, while Common Ants and Spiders showcase some of the most abundant and fascinating species found in our attics and tents. front lawns and forests – and even offer tips on keeping ant farms in your home.
Exploring species from the hobbit and trapjaw ants of Chicago to the honeyrump and Japanese crazy ants of New York City, from the high noon and harvester ants of California to the spreading red imported fire ant and tiny (but gymnastic) zebra jumping spider, the Dr. Eleanor guides will be a tremendous resource for teachers, students, and scientists alike. But more than this, they will transform the way we perceive the environment around us by deepening our understanding of its littlest inhabitants, inspiring all of us to find our inner naturalist, get outside, and crawl across the dirt – magnifying glass in hand.