Ants are everywhere, living complex and diverse lives that are mostly hidden from our view. What if we could see into their world — on their level? Now, with the aid of a macro lens and the insights of ant expert and photographer Mark Moffett, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and the Smithsonia's National Museum of Natural History present the fascinating world of ants in this colorful and interactive exhibition.

Moffett's macro photographs tell stories about the lives of ants — hunting, communicating, and even growing their own food. You can also learn about the fieldwork of entomologists, or bug scientists! The exhibition features 39 large-scale color photographs, a three-dimensional aluminum cast of an ant nest, and touchable oversized ant models. See live animals that eat ants for dinner, complete ant puzzles, try to construct an ant model, and then watch as hundreds of live ants work in our two separate formicaries — two live ant farms!

"What fascinated me most in preparing this exhibit is that modern humans can be much more like ants than we are like our relatives, the chimpanzees," said curator Moffett. "With our societies of millions, only ants and humans deal with issues of public health and environmental safety, roadways and traffic control, assembly lines and teamwork, market economics and voting, slavery and mass warfare." You can learn more about Dr. Moffett and his study of ants at

SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for nearly 60 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science, and history.

More information about The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History is available at

Related Programs

Insect Extravaganza
Sunday, June 26, 11 am - 2 pm

Explore the world of our six-legged friends, and some other invertebrates too, as we celebrate the opening of FARMERS, WARRIORS, BUILDERS: The Hidden Life of Ants. Meet our teaching invertebrates and search for boneless beasts in our stream, pond and forest. Come across some animals that eat insects for dinner and have the chance to try some edible insects yourself, if you are brave enough! Insect-themed crafts and of course, a visit to see the exhibition will round out the day.

Insect Investigations!
Tuesdays, July 5 - August 16
3:30 - 4:30 pm

Celebrate the world of the six-legged critters and our newest exhibition, FARMERS, WARRIORS, BUILDERS: The Hidden Life of Ants, as we explore the many places that insects live at SM&NC and meet some of our teaching insects up close. Meet at the Museum galleries. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Members: Free | Non-Members: Free with gate admission.

The Stamford Museum Galleries are open, Monday - Saturday 9 am - 5 pm; Sundays 11 am - 5 pm. For more information call 203.977.6521.

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