Author of ant book has book signing in Raleigh

by Chelsea Kellner, NC State University

For every human on earth, there are at least one million ants. North Carolina alone has at least 250 species — that we’ve identified so far.

Head to Quail Ridge Books at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 26, to get the lowdown on your closest (and tiniest) neighbors from NC State University alumna Eleanor Spicer Rice. Co-authored with CALS professor Rob Dunn, her new book, “Dr. Eleanor’s Book of Common Ants,” is full of surprising findings — from the tiny yellow species that intimidates even the mighty fire ant, to the shenanigans of those wee explorers on your kitchen counter.

“I want people to begin to notice what’s living around them,” Spicer Rice said. “I hope people will start to wonder what the ants they see around them are doing, because they’re doing beautiful things.”

The books were sparked by the “School of Ants” citizen science project through Dunn’s laboratory of the Department of Applied Ecology. Participants from across the country trapped ants with Dunn’s suggested method of a cookie and an index card and sent them in for study.

“Now, thanks to thousands of people from across the country, we know who’s living around us,” Spicer Rice said.

Citizen science ant kits will be available at the event, along with a foldable flow chart on how to identify ants.

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