You are here

A Field Guide to the Ants of New England

Printer-friendly version

Cover
Buy your copy today!
[ Yale University Press | BioQuip | Amazon ]

Send us your specimens!

[ New names for old ants: taxonomic and nomenclatural changes ]

[ Corrections and errata: download pdf (14.5 Mb!) of pages marked-up with suggested changes ]

Awards | The Buzz | Sample pages | In the wider world  (reviews, blogs, interviews, videos, shout-outs) | Events | Data and images | Related publications | Links | About the authors | Contact us

Awards for The Field Guide

The buzz about 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 Menke, Lake Forest College
  • “…a great combination of natural history, a little anecdote, and gorgeous inspired figures.”—Michael Kaspari, University 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’Donnell, University 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. Silva, Museu de Zoologia/USP/Entomologia São Paulo
  • "What a gorgeous field guide! Congratulations on such a comprehensive and USEFUL resource." —Joan Herbers, Ohio State University
  • "The descriptions for the various Formica species groups are the best I’ve seen, and the drawings throughout are absolutely excellent.” —Adam Clark, University of Minnesota
  • "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, President
  • "[The Field guide is] a gateway drug" (to more advanced books on ants, including Journey to the Ants: A Story of Scienctific 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

Sample The Field Guide [ ...coming soon ]

In the wider world: book reviews, blogs, videos, etc.

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; appears in Narragansett Times, North Kingstown Standard-Times, Chariho Times, Covernty Courier, and East Greenwich Pendulum) [ pdf copy on NEants.net ]
    • 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 | html from Upper Hudson Library System ]
    • Anonymous. 2013. Review in Wings, Fall 2013 [ pdf ]
    • Traniello, J. F. A. 2013. Review in Quarterly Review of Biology 88: 360 [ pdf ]

In the blogs and on the clouds

Over the airwaves

On the silver screen

Events

Contact us to schedule an event

Coming up!

    • July 10, 2014, 9:30am - 12:30pm: Talk, field walk, and book-signing at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, ME [ tuiton/fee; preregistration required: info ]
    • October 20, 2014, 7:00 - 8:00pm: Ant talk at the Bedford, New Hampshire, Garden Club [ info ]
    • October 24, 2014 time: Research seminar on ants at the University of New Hampshire, Department of Zoology [ info ]

In the past...

Data and images:

Popular articles and scientific papers that we have written about New England ants

General interest

Scientific literature

  • Ellison, A. M., and E. J. Farnsworth. 2014. Targeted sampling increases knowledge and improves estimates of ant species richness in Rhode Island. Northeastern Naturalist 21: NENHC-13 - NENHC-24.
    [ Abstract | Full Text (from Harvard's Preprint Archive) | Reprint (preprint) | Data (via Harvard Forest Data Catalog) ]
  • Resasco, J., S. L. Pelini, K. L. Stuble, N. J. Sanders, R. R. Dunn, S. E. Diamond, A. M. Ellison, N. J. Gotelli, and D. J. Levey. 2014. Using historical and experimental data to reveal warming effects on ant assemblages. PLoS One 9(2): e88029.
    [ Abstract | Full Text (from Harvard's Preprint Archive) | Reprint (pdf as published) | Data (via Dryad) ]
  • Farnsworth, E. J., M. Chu, W. J. Kress, A. K. Neill, J. H. Best, R. D. Stevenson, G. W. Courtney, J. K. Vandyk, and A. M. Ellison. 2013. Next-generation field guides. BioScience 63: 891-899.
    [ Abstract | Full Text (from Harvard's Preprint Archive) | Reprint (pdf as published) ]
  • Diamond, S. E., C. Penick, S. L. Pelini, A. M. Ellison, N. J. Gotell, N. J. Sanders, and R. R. Dunn. 2013.Using physiology to predict the responses of ants to climatic warming. Integrative and Comparative Biology 53: 965-974.
    [ Abstract | Full Text (from Harvard's Preprint Archive) | Reprint (pdf as published) | Data and model code (via Harvard Forest Data Catalog) ]
  • Fitzpatrick, M. C., N. J. Gotelli, and A. M. Ellison. 2013. MaxEnt vs. MaxLike: empirical comparisons with antspecies distributions. Ecosphere 4: 55.
    [ Abstract | Full Text (from Harvard's Preprint Archive) | Reprint (pdf as published) | Data and model code (via Harvard Forest Data Catalog) ]
  • Diamond, S. E., L. M. Nichols, N. McCoy, C. Hirsch, S. L. Pelini, N. J. Sanders, A. M. Ellison, N. J. Gotelli, and R. R. Dunn. 2012. A physiological trait-based approach to predicting the responses of species to experimental climatic warming. Ecology 93: 2305-2312.
    [ Abstract | Full Text (from Harvard's Preprint Archive) | Reprint (pdf as published) | Data and Model code (via Harvard Forest Data Catalog) ]
  • Pelini, S. L., S. E. Diamond, H. MacLean, A. M. Ellison, N. J. Gotelli, N. J. Sanders, and R. R. Dunn. 2012. Common garden experiments reveal uncommon responses across temperatures, locations, and species of ants. Ecology and Evolution 2: 3009-3115.
    [ Abstract | Full Text (from Harvard's Preprint Archive) | Reprint (pdf as published) | Data (via Harvard Forest Data Catalog) ]
  • Drummond, F. A., A. M. Ellison, E. Groden, and G. D. Ouellette. 2012. The ants  (Formicidae). Pages 29-35 in D. S. Chandler, D. Manski, C. Donahue, and A. Alyokhin, editors. Biodiversity of the Schoodic Peninsula: results of the insect and arachnid bioblitzes at the Schoodic District of Acadia National Park, Maine. Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station Technical Bulletin 206.
    [ Full Text (entire Technical Bulletin in pdf) ]
  • Ellison, A. M. 2012. Out of Oz: Opportunities and challenges for using ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) as biological indicators in north-temperate cold biomes. Myrmecological News 17: 105-119. 
    [ Abstract | Full Text (from Harvard's Preprint Archive) | Reprint (pdf as published  - non-printable) ]
  • Ellison, A. M. 2012. The ants of Nantucket: undexpectedly high biodiversity in an anthropogenic landscape. Northeastern Naturalist 19(Special Issue 6): 43-66. 
    [ Abstract | Full Text (from Harvard's Preprint Archive) | Reprint (pdf  as published) | Data (via Harvard Forest Data Catalog ]
  • Pelini, S. L., M. Boudreau, N. McCoy, A. M. Ellison, N. J. Gotelli, N. J. Sanders, and R. R. Dunn. 2011. Effects of short-term warming on low and high latitude forest ant communities. Ecosphere 2: art62.
    [ Abstract | Full Text (from Harvard's Preprint Archive) | Reprint (pdf as published) | Data (via Harvard Forest Data Catalog) ]   
  • Jenkins, C. N., N. J. Sanders, A. N. Andersen, X. Arnan, C. A. Brühl, X. Cerda, A. M. Ellison, B. L. Fisher, M. C. Fitzpatrick, N. J. Gotelli, A. D. Gove, B. Guénard, J. E. Lattke, J.-P. Lessard, T. P. McGlynn, S. B. Menke, C. L. Parr, S. M. Philpott, H. L. Vasconcelos, M. D. Weiser, and R. R. Dunn. 2011. Global diversity in light of climate change: the case of ants. Diversity and Distributions 17: 652-662.
    [ Abstract | Full Text (from Harvard's Preprint Archive) | Reprint (pdf as published) | Supplementary on-line material (pdf) ]   
  • Dorazio, R. M., N. J. Gotelli, and A. M. Ellison. 2011. Modern methods of estimating biodiversity from presence-absence surveys. Pages 277-302 in: G. Venora, O. Grillo, and J Lopez-Pujol, editors. Biodiversity loss in a changing planet. InTech - Open Access Publisher, Croatia.
    [ Full Text (from Harvard's Preprint Archive) | Reprint (pdf as published) ]  
  • Pelini, S. L., F. P. Bowles, A. M. Ellison, N. J. Gotelli, N. J. Sanders, and R. R. Dunn. 2011. Heating up the forest: open-top chamber warming manipulation of arthropod communities at Harvard and Duke Forests. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 2: 534-540.
    [ Abstract | Full Text (from Harvard's Preprint Archive) | Reprint (pdf as published) | Data (via Harvard Forest Data Catalog) ]
  • Gotelli, N. J., A. M. Ellison, R. R. Dunn, and N. J. Sanders. 2011. Counting ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): biodiversity sampling and statistical analysis for myrmecologists. Myrmecological News 15: 13-19.
    [ Abstract | Full Text (from Harvard's Preprint Archive) | Reprint (pdf as published) ]  
  • Weiser, M. D., N. J. Sanders, D. Agosti, A. N. Andersen, A. M. Ellison, B. L. Fisher, H. Gibb, N. J. Gotelli, A. D. Gove, K. Gross, B. Guénard, M. Janda, M. Kaspari, J.-P. Lessard, J. T. Longino, J. D. Majer, S. B. Menke, T. P. McGlynn, C. L. Parr, S. M. Philpott, J. Retana, A. V. Suarez, H. L. Vasconcelos, S. P. Yanoviak, and R. R. Dunn. 2010. Canopy and litter ant asseblages share similar climate-species density relationships. Biology Letters 6: 769-772. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.0151.
    [ Abstract | Full Text (from Harvard's Preprint Archive) | Reprint (pdf as published) ]  
  • Wittman, S. E., N. J. Sanders, A. M. Ellison, E. S. Jules, J. S. Ratchford, and N. J. Gotelli. 2010. Species interactions and thermal constraints on ant community structure. Oikos 119: 551-559. 
    [ Abstract | Full Text (from Harvard's Preprint Archive) | Reprint (pdf as published) ] 
  • Bennett, K. T., and A. M. Ellison. 2009. Nectar, not colour, may lure insects to their death. Biology Letters 5: 469-472.
    [ Abstract | Full Text (from Harvard's Preprint Archive) | Reprint (pdf as published) | Data (via Harvard Forest Data Catalog) ]
  • Dunn, R. R., D. Agosti, A. Andersen, X. Arnan, C. Bruehl, X. Cerda, A. M. Ellison, B. Fisher, M. Fitzpatrick, H. Gibb, N. Gotelli, A. Gove, B. Guenard, M. Janda, M. Kaspari, E. Laurent, J.-P. Lessard, J. Longino, J. Majer, S. Menke, T. McGlynn, C. Parr, S. Philpott, M. Pfeiffer, J. Retana, A. Suarez, H. Vasconcelos, M. Weiser, and N. Sanders. 2009. Climatic drivers of hemispheric asymmetry in global patterns of ant species richness. Ecology Letters 12: 324-333.
    [ Abstract | Full Text (from Harvard's Preprint Archive) | Reprint (pdf as published) ]
  • Dunn. R.R., N.J. Sanders, M.C. Fitzpatrick, E. Laurent, J.-P. Lessard, D. Agosti, A. Andersen, C. Bruhl, X. Cerda, A.M. Ellison, B. Fisher, H. Gibb, N. Gotelli, A. Gove, B. Guenard, M. Janda, M. Kaspari, J.T. Longino, J. Majer, T.G. McGlynn, S. Menke, C. Parr, S. Philpott, M. Pfeiffer, J. Retana, A. Suarez, and H. Vasconcelos. 2007. Global ant biodiversity and biogeography - a new database and its possibilities. Myrmecological News 10: 77-83.
    [ Abstract | Reprint (pdf as published) ] 
  • Ellison, A. M., S. Record, A. Arguello, and N. J. Gotelli. 2007. Rapid inventory of the ant assemblage in a temperate hardwood forest: species composition and sampling methods. Environmental Entomology 36: 766-775.
    [ Abstract | Reprint (pdf as published) | Data (via Harvard Forest Data Catalog) ]   
  • Ratchford, J.S., S. E. Wittman, E. S. Jules, A. M. Ellison, N. J. Gotelli, and N. J. Sanders. 2005. The effects of fire, local environment, and time on ant assemblages in fens and forests. Diversity and Distributions 11: 487-497.
    Abstract | Reprint (pdf as published) ]  
  • Ellison, A. M., J. Chen*, D. Díaz*, C. Kammerer-Burnham*, and M. Lau*. 2005. Changes in ant community structure and composition associated with hemlock decline in New England. Pages 280-289 in B. Onken and R. Reardon, editors. Proceedings of the 3rd Symposium on Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in the Eastern United States. US Department of Agriculture - US Forest Service - Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team, Morgantown, West Virginia.
    [ Reprint (pdf as published) | Data | Entire symposium proceedings ]
  • Gotelli, N. J. and A. M. Ellison. 2002b. Assembly rules for New England ant assemblages. Oikos 99: 591-599.
    Abstract | Reprint (pdf as published) ] 
  • Ellison, A. M., E. J. Farnsworth, and N. J. Gotelli. 2002. Ant diversity in pitcher-plant bogs of Massachusetts. Northeastern Naturalist 9: 267-284.
    Abstract | Reprint (pdf as published) ] 
  • Gotelli, N. J. and A. M. Ellison. 2002a. Biogeography at a regional scale: determinants of ant species density in bogs and forests of New England. Ecology 83: 1604-1609.
    Abstract | Reprint (pdf as published) | Ant abundance data (space-delimited ASCII text) | Vegetation data (tab-delimited ASCII text) | Explanation of the vegetation data codes (rich text format) ]

Links

  • AntWeb - databases and images of ants of the world.
  • AntBase - Current nomenclature and links to the original taxonomic literature.
  • AntWiki - Bringing ants to the world
  • The Global Ant Project - Biographies of ant taxonomists, interactive keys to ant genera of the world, current version of Barry Bolton's Synopsis of the Formicidae and Catalogue of Ants of the World, and additional web resources.
  • Ant Macroecology - A project to bring together ant ecologists and evolutioanry biologists studying distribution and abundance of ants and how they might respond to global climatic changes.
  • The Ant Course - An annual course for systematists, ecologists, conservation biologists, students of animal behavior, and anyone else who needs to learn more about ant taxonomy and field research.
  • Bugguide - An online community of naturalists interested in invertebrates; can help identify species from photos.
  • DiscoverLife - Free on-line tools to learn and teach about life on Earth, help identify species, report observations, and create distribution maps.
  • Encyclopedia of Life - Species pages for the biodiversity of the world.
  • School of Ants - An international project helping children and K-12 teachers explore urban biodiversity in their own back yards.
  • Myrmecos - Alex Wild blogs on insects, science, and photography

About the authors

Aaron Ellison
Nick Gotelli
Elizabeth Farnsworth
Gary Alpert

 Contact us

Last updated 3 July 2014