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Species of the genus Pheidole are the most abundant and diverse ants of the New World and range from the northern United States to Argentina. In this illustrated book, Edward O. Wilson untangles its classification, characterising all 625 known species, 341 of which are new to science, and ordering them into 19 species groups. The author's keys and drawings, the latter showing complete body views arranged in the style of field books, allow rapid identification by anyone with an elementary understanding of entomology. In presenting all of Pheidole, the book covers one-fifth of the known ant species of the Western Hemisphere, including many of the commonest forms. Wilson also summarises our knowledge of the natural history of each species, much of it previously unpublished. In addition, he provides a general account of hyperdiversity, confirming that it is not a statistical artefact but a genuine biological phenomenon that can best be understood by detailed analyses of groups of organisms such as the Pheidole ants. An important innovation in this book is the inclusion of a CD-ROM containing high-resolution digital images of the type specimens. The CD-ROM is designed to allow quick retrieval of information such as known range, group membership, measurements, and colour. The CD-ROM thus will be useful in creating "instant" field guides, comparison charts, and local checklists.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674002937
ISBN-10: 0674002938
Format: Hardback
(305mm x 235mm x 56mm)
Pages: 818
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 4-Mar-2003
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Edward O. Wilson

Edward O. Wilson is Pellegrino University Professor, Emeritus, at Harvard University. In addition to two Pulitzer Prizes (one of which he shares with Bert Holldobler), Wilson has won many scientific awards, including the National Medal of Science and the Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

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