[the following is a repost from Scienceblogs]

With 12,000 described species, ants dominate global terrestrial ecosystems. Here are a few of them.

Name: Nothomyrmecia macrops
Distribution: Australia
Famous for: The story of its rediscovery (As told by Bill Bryson)


Name: Dinoponera australis
Distribution: South America
Famous for: being the largest ant in the western hemisphere


Name: Polyergus sp.
Distribution: North America
Famous for: piracy, taking of prisoners

Name: Dorylus helvolus
Distribution: Africa
Famous for: terrorizing subterranean arthropods, taking of no prisoners


Name: Pogonomyrmex maricopa
Distribution: North America
Famous for: the most venemous sting of any North American insect


Name: Thaumatomyrmex atrox
Distribution: South America
Famous for: beguiling rarity, and amazing teeth


Name: Pseudomyrmex pallidus
Distribution: North & Central America
Famous for: its slender good looks


Name: Cephalotes atratus
Distribution: Central & South America
Famous for: gliding

Name: Atta sp.
Distribution: North, Central & South America
Famous for: monopolizing nature documentaries


Name: Solenopsis invicta
Distribution: North & South America
Famous for: general mayhem and loss of life


Name: Myrmecia piliventris
Distribution: Australia
Famous for: endangering Australians


Name: Odontomachus sp.
Distribution: South America
Famous for: general awesomeness involving jaws


Name: Oecophylla longinoda
Distribution: Africa
Famous for: exotic textiles, child labor, and organized torture of enemy combatants


Name: Amblyopone oregonensis
Distribution: North America
Famous for: drinking their children’s blood


Name: Solenopsis geminata
Distribution: worldwide
Famous for: having a big head for a reason


Name: Linepithema oblongum
Distribution: South America
Famous for: nothing, yet. But her sister is famous, so just you wait.