Accurate classification of instances depends on identification and removal of redundant features. Classification of data having high dimensionality is usually performed in conjunction with an appropriate feature selection method. Feature selection enables identification of the most informative feature subset from the enormously vast search space that can accurately classify the given data. We propose an ant colony optimization (ACO)/random forest based hybrid filter-wrapper search technique, which traverses the search space and selects a feature subset with high classifying ability. We evaluate the performance of our algorithm on four widely studied CoEPrA (Comparative Evaluation of Prediction Algorithms, http://coepra.org) datasets. The performance of the software ants mediated hybrid filter/wrapper approach compares well with the available competition results. Thus, the proposed Ant Colony Optimization based technique can effectively find small feature subsets capable of classifying with a very good accuracy and can be employed for feature subset selection with a high level of confidence. © 2009 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.