Wednesday, 21 January 2004  
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Fascinating book on ants

Ants of Sri Lanka
Author: R.K. Sriyani Dias
A Sarvodaya Vishva Lekha Publications; Ratmalana
Price Rs. 185

Ants are a fascinating group of animals which are ecologically important as predators of insect pests and scavengers in the environment. Some are a nuisance at times due to painful bites and stings and attractions to food material. However, this group of animals had received less attention compared to the larger animals such as mammals, birds, amphibians, fish and other vertebrates probably due to their minute size.

This book on Sri Lankan ants, written by Dr. (Mrs.) Sriyani Dias, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Zoology of the University of Kelaniya fills a lacuna so far existed in Sri Lankan literature on ants. This is the first book published on the ants of Sri Lanka after 1903.

The information presented in the book is mainly based on the research findings of the author. It gives important information on general biology of ants including their classification, general life cycle, taxonomy, important morphological features and also describes the field and laboratory methods that could be used in the study of ants.

Further, it describes important morphological features of ants belonging to the nine subfamilies recorded from Sri Lanka. The book is illustrated with several diagrams and colour photographs.

The book is very useful to the undergraduate students and also to anybody who is interested on Sri Lankan ants. The writer should be commended for disseminating the knowledge she has gained through her research to the general public through this very important and useful publication.

- Prof. M.J.S. Wijeryaratne, Senior Professor of Zoology, University of Kelaniya.

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