Cover: The Fire Ants, from Harvard University PressCover: The Fire Ants in PAPERBACK

The Fire Ants

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Product Details


$34.50 • £27.95 • €31.00

ISBN 9780674072404

Publication Date: 03/11/2013

Academic Trade

752 pages

53 color illustrations, 23 halftones, 188 line illustrations, 9 tables

Belknap Press


  • Foreword [Edward O. Wilson]
  • I. Origin and Spread, Present and Future Range
    • Prelude: And What Do You Do for a Living?
    • 1. A Quick Tour of Fire Ant Biology
    • 2. The Species of Fire Ants and Their Biogeography
    • 3. An Atlas of Fire Ant Anatomy
    • 4. Getting There
    • Interlude: Beachhead Mobile
    • 5. La Conquista: Spreading Out
    • Interlude: Another Immigrant Moves West
    • 6. Predicting Future Range Limits
  • II. Basic Needs and the Monogyne Colony Cycle
    • An Important Note: Monogyne and Polygyne Social Forms
    • 7. Shelter
    • Interlude: There’s Nothing Like Getting Plastered
    • 8. Space
    • 9. Food
    • Interlude: Mundane Methods
    • 10. Mating and Colony Founding
    • Interlude: Spring among the Fire Ants
    • 11. The Claustral Period
    • Interlude: Sharon’s House of Beauty
    • 12. The Incipient Phase and Brood Raiding
    • 13. Dependent Colony Founding
    • 14. Colony Growth
    • 15. Relative Growth and Sociogenesis
    • Interlude: The Porter Wedge Micrometer
    • 16. Colony Reproduction and the Seasonal Cycle
  • III. Family Life
    • Interlude: Deby Discovers Ants
    • 17. Nestmate and Brood Recognition
    • Interlude: Ant ID Systems
    • 18. Division of Labor
    • Interlude: Moving Up in a Harvester Ant Colony
    • 19. Adaptive Demography
    • Interlude: Driving to Work with Odontomachus
    • 20. The Organization of Foraging
    • Interlude: Who’s in Charge Here?
    • 21. Food Sharing within the Colony
    • Interlude: The Fire Ant on Trial
    • 22. Venom and Its Uses
    • Interlude: You Call That Pain!?
    • 23. Social Control of the Queen’s Egg-laying Rate
    • Interlude: Catching Queens
    • 24. Necrophoric Behavior
  • IV. Polygyny
    • 25. Discovery of Polygyny
    • Interlude: I Want This to Be Accurate
    • 26. The Suppression of Independent Colony Founding in Polygyne Colonies
    • 27. The Nature and Fate of Polygyne Alates
    • Interlude: A Useful Tool
    • 28. Polygyne Mating, Adoption, Execution
    • 29. Biological Consequences of Polygyny
  • V. Populations and Ecology
    • 30. Hybridization between Solenopsis invicta and S. richteri
    • 31. Populations of Monogyne Fire Ants
    • Interlude: Gang Wars
    • 32. Territorial Behavior and Monogyne Population Regulation
    • 33. Ecological Niche
    • 34. Solenopsis invicta and Ant Community Ecology
    • Interlude: Membership in a Prestigious Organization
    • 35. Solenopsis invicta and Other Communities
    • 36. Fire Ants and Vertebrates
    • Interlude: A Microsafari in Antland
    • 37. Biological Control
    • Interlude: The Heartbreak of Parasitoids
    • Some Final Words
  • References
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index
  • [Color plates follow page 280]

Awards & Accolades

  • Honorable Mention, 2006 Association of American Publishers PSP Award, Biological Science Category
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