247 pages, 300+ colour & b/w photos, 100 colour & b/w illustration, 2 colour maps
This is the first Field Guide to Southern African ants ever published. Lavishly illustrated with Philip Herbst's fabulous macrophotographs, and the best of some fifty more observers from ‘iSpot’, the book details 225 of the most common species, with notes about another 400. Also included are comprehensive habitat and locality endpaper maps, index and bibliography.
"Peter Slingsby writes with humour and with a refreshing lack of pomposity. With its amazing photos and Peter's superb illustration, this is a very welcome addition to the books on the natural history of southern Africa and will surely open eyes and minds to these intriguing and important insects.''
– William Bond, Senior Scientist, SAEON
"The colour images of live ants, the 'how common' ranking, providing the actual size, the major habitats, the distribution – all this is genius!"
– Brian L. Fisher, California Academy of Sciences
"The pics are superb and the layout and text very easy to follow, and informative. It's going to be a very useful resource for ecologists... using ants as indicator species"
– Mike D. Picker, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, UCT
"[...] Peter Slingsby subtitled his field guide ‘The Ant Book for All’, and his aim is indeed met. The book includes much of interest even to those with years of experience working with South African ants, but is easy to use for beginners. [...] The guide is unusual in also providing common names and drawings showing actual size. There are shorter notes on a further 400 species. The guide thus covers the majority of the described ant species so far recorded for southern Africa. Keys to distinguish species within genera are not provided. Instead, after identifying possible genera using the key, the user will need to search for matches among the species descriptions and photos. [...] The photographs by Philip Herbst and many other contributors to the iSpot website [...] are of the highest quality. The numerous field photographs show live ants in their natural habitats. Where such were not available, the author provides excellent illustrations. [...] The enthusiasm the author feels for his subject penetrates the whole book. His highly personal style is unusual for an entomological book but highly engaging. The humorous asides and anecdotes and the many details on the ants’ lives make the book enjoyable to browse, even with no ants at hand. Slingsby’s book is a helpful tool for conservation managers or researchers interested in using ants as indicators for biodiversity or environmental change. It is an excellent reference for information on ant species. The book is unparalleled in usefulness in the field or for people without access to specialist equipment. However, for professional use, identifications of ants should be confirmed using taxonomic literature – keeping in mind that many ant species in southern Africa are yet to be described. The book will be very valuable for citizen scientists, professional biologists or conservationists working with ants in the field, and all those who observe and photograph ants and want to know more about them."
– B. Braschler, South African Journal of Science 2018;114(1/2)
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