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Empire of Ants

"An intensely satisfying and entertaining read that opens up the amazing world of ants, you may never look at them in the same way again."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

What a fabulously readable and eye-opening book this is. With experts guiding your way, visit the amazing world of ants as they build, raise, grow, and hunt, raid and devour. I’ve always been enthralled by ants and have watched in fascination as they purposefully march their way through life. I’ve also wondered what happens to the lone lost explorer who ends up on your clothing potentially miles away from home, well I found out the answer to this and learned a whole host of other interesting facts in Empire of Ants. Yet this isn’t a data and statistic gala, the writing duo of Susanne Foitzik and Olaf Fritsche have ensured an engaging and absorbing read. One of the first things we are told is that: “If all the ants suddenly disappeared, terrestrial ecosystems across the word would be on their knees… Without ants, the natural world would suffer a long period of instability and would never look the same again”. They’re important then, these bustling ants who exist and create and invent, there’s plenty to learn as we are introduced to them by biologist Susanne. There are so many similarities with humans, and yet their structure could quite easily sit in the realms of fantasy. Empire of Ants is an intensely satisfying and entertaining read that opens up a whole new world.


Liz Robinson

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Primary Genre Wildlife: butterflies, other insects and spiders: general interest
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A fascinating insight into the world of one of our most common insects. I was hooked!

This popular science book opens up the hidden world of ants in an engaging, accessible way.... Read Full Review

Annie Day

From budding myrmecologists to armchair enthusiasts to the completely uninitiated - this is a fascinating peek into the thriving societies operating in world beneath our feet.

What a fantastic read! Empire of Ants is a delightfully readable and entertaining look into the world of these industrious (and often irritating!) insects. Beginning the book with a comparison between humans and ants, the authors describe their societies, structures and relationships. Travelling the world for research they detail the myriad of species from the fearsome bullet ants (a 4.0+ on the Schmidt Sting Pain Index) to the vegan leafcutters. There is a comparison of different colonies, the roles of the Queen Ant, the relative insignificance of male ants and a detailed look at how genetics and evolution have engineered ants to specific roles and habitats. There is plenty of gory detail (bloodbaths involving the enslaved, zombies and self-destructing ants!) and lots of fascinating facts about ants thriving but mostly hidden worlds. Written in a jaunty style, there is a great balance of entertainment and expertise.... Read Full Review

Clare Wilkins

A fascinating exploration into the complex world of ants.

Empire of Ants is an incredibly readable book. I was surprised, taking into account the subject matter, how easy it was to get engrossed by it. There is almost a conversational tone to it. It is almost as if someone is chatting away to you in the comfort of your own living room, rather than listening to a serious, academic lecture. I think this is not just due to the skill of the authors, Susanne Foitzuk and Olaf Fritsche, but the expertise of the translator, Ayacucho Turkoglu. An awful lot of research and time has gone into this work. This is evident by the amount of references named at the back of the book.

The subject matter, the world of ants, is explored in a manner that is somewhat humorous and strangely easy to relate to.... Read Full Review

Rachael Anderson