No, not really. I’m just kidding. Wouldn’t it be great to have an ant field guide, though?
Off and on for the past couple years I’ve been playing with concepts. A potential format is this (click to download pdf):
The salient features, in my opinion:
- Targeted at the general naturalist, so less technical than the excellent Fisher & Cover guide
- Organized around genera, as species IDs remain problematic without microscopes
- With synopses of the most commonly encountered species
- Containing brief chapters on ant ecology, collection, culture, etc
But that’s what I’d like in an ant book. The reason I’m posting this little teaser is to learn what you would like in an ant book.
What information should be covered? What do you like and dislike about the sample above? Would you prefer a guide that is more comprehensive and heavy, or more concise and portable? Should we sell it as an iPhone app in addition to, or instead of, a book? What do you think?
[note: Yes, I do know of the other ant guide effort. There is a significant chance that our projects will merge- in which case your feedback here will be useful to an even greater number of people].