Skip to main content

Wild About: Ants

Wild About is a celebration of the flora and fauna commonly found in our cities. Instead of fact sheets, this space will showcase books, art, music, societies, and whimsical objects about urban-adaptable plants and animals. If you would like to see your favorite urban-oriented plant or animal featured, please email us at info at localecology dot org. 

Image: Unknown species of ant, Fossil Butte National Monument, WY by Sam Droege via USGS Bee Lab Flickr (source)

Have you ever collected ants? Almost two years ago I joined the Your Wild Life team on an ant collecting expedition in Riverside Park. The preferred bait for park ants is pecan sandies! I learned how to capture ants with tweezers -- squeeze gently.

Image: Dr. Eleanor's Book of Common Ants of New York City cover via Your Wild Life (source)

A great resource about New York City ants is Dr. Eleanor’s Book of Common Ants of New York City. Dr. Eleanor is a member of the Your Wild Life Team. You can download her book for free on iTunes.

If you want to see "high quality images of all the world's ant species," check out AntWeb. There are 158,626 total specimen images archived on the website.

Image: Unknown species of ant, Fossil Butte National Monument, WY by Sam Droege via USGS Bee Lab Flickr (source)

Bees are the central characters of Laline Paull's debut novel, The Bees, but they are not the only insects to star as fictional protagonists. E. O. Wilson, renowned for his ant expertise, wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning novel about ants titled Anthill. His short story "Trailhead" was published in The New Yorker in 2010. Is "Trailhead" excerpted from Anthill? His 1990 non-fiction book with Bert Hölldobler, The Ants, also received a Pulitzer.

Watch NOVA's profile of Wilson here. The program is titled Lord of the Ants!

For a bit of fun, watch a video of The Ants Go Marching. (Note: there is a commercial preceding the video.) Want to wear something antsy? The MoMA store sells a MoMA Ants tote bag.

More Wild About
Snowy owls
Eating insects

P.S. Did anyone see the Ants in the City Solo Exhibition by Su-Chen Hung in San Francisco last year?

Wild About was inspired by Design*Sponge's Animal Love.