I finally got myself a copy of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Ants (1990), written by Hölldobler and Wilson, the myrmecologists who contributed greatly to the knowledge of ant biology. From Google Books:
This landmark work, the distillation of a lifetime of research by the world’s leading myrmecologists, is a thoroughgoing survey of one of the largest and most diverse groups of animals on the planet. Hölldobler and Wilson review in exhaustive detail virtually all topics in the anatomy, physiology, social organization, ecology, and natural history of the ants. In large format, with almost a thousand line drawings, photographs, and paintings, it is one of the most visually rich and all-encompassing views of any group of organisms on earth. It will be welcomed both as an introduction to the subject and as an encyclopedia reference for researchers in entomology, ecology, and sociobiology.
The more than 700 page counting book is aimed at academics, and therefore Hölldobler and Wilson have summarized their most interesting findings in the popularized Journey to the Ants (1994). I recommend to start with that book like I did and to continue with The Ants if you’re still not satisfied afterwards.
The Leafcutter Ants by the same writers is also a great book, full of great photos in color by, among others, one of my favorite ant photographers Alexander Wild.
I also have some Dutch books, which are unfortunately not available in English. For everyone who can read Dutch, Mieren van de Benelux (“Ants of the Benelux”) by Peter Boer is a great book on how to identify North-European ant species, containing photos from AntWeb.
If you can recommend any other must-read books about ants, please leave a comment!