Sunday book review – Ants by Richard Jones

I’ve praised this series of books before (see here), and I have to do so again. They are beautifully produced with lots of wonderful photographs and other images that are superbly reproduced and laid out on the pages. When you pick up one of this series you are struck by its weight and, as you turn the pages, by its beauty. The publisher deserves a lot of credit for making these wonderful-looking books.

But regardless of the look and feel, this is a very engaging book, as the author writes well, clearly and with authority which is sprinkled with touches of humour.

Chapters cover the biology and evolution of ants, the ants of the UK, interactions with other species including our own and information on how to study ants (including a very useful (by the look of it) identification key). I greatly enjoyed the chapter on Ants in the Landscape. The message of the book is that although each ant is small, together they are incredibly numerous and because they act together in social groups they are surprisingly influential. All campaigners should remember that lesson – we may be but ants individually but can be a mighty force if we work together.

I didn’t think I wanted to know much about ants but I was drawn into this book by the tales that the author tells and the way he tells them. It’s a treat.

The cover? It’s lovely, and I’d give it 8/10 (and then I looked and saw that it was by Carry Akroyd and so I wasn’t surprised that it pleased me).

Ants: the ultimate social insects by Richard Jones is published by Bloomsbury.


1 Reply to “Sunday book review – Ants by Richard Jones”

  1. I haven’t read the book yet but I agree with your assessment of the cover. As the New Naturalist series did, first with Clifford and Rosemary Ellis and then Robert Gillmor, I think it was a great decision by the publishers of the British Wildlife Collection to commission a single artist to produce all the covers. It really helps to pull them all together as a collection. It was also a great decision to choose Carry Ackroyd as that artist – her work is fabulous.

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