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Costa Rica, Nicaragua.
Acromyrmex volcanus is common in mature wet forest on the Atlantic slope of Costa Rica, occurring from sea level to about 1000m elevation. It is one of the most common and conspicuous attines in lowland primary forest, giving way to Atta in second growth and more open habitats.
At La Selva Biological Station, A. volcanus workers forage on the ground but nests are arboreal. When I first encountered the species in 1985, I was mystified by the large workers cutting fallen flowers on the forest floor and carrying them up tree trunks. Later, while climbing a tall Pentaclethra tree at La Selva, I was standing in the first major fork, 20m above the forest floor, when Acromyrmex workers suddenly appeared around my feet. I found a basketball-sized nest, with a large fungus garden, embedded in the accumulated canopy soil beneath the epiphyte layer in the fork. Subsequent observations by Wetterer and others have repeatedly confirmed the arboreal nesting habits at La Selva, but at elevations above 500m A. volcanus nests at ground level (Wetterer, pers. comm.). Wetterer (1993) reports quantitative data on the foraging and nesting ecology of A. volcanus at La Selva.
Wetterer, J. K. 1993. Foraging and nesting ecology of a Costa Rican leaf-cutting ant, Acromyrmex volcanus. Psyche 100:65-76.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 13 times found in montane wet forest, 4 times found in tropical wet forest, 3 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 4 times found in lowland rainforest, 4 times found in wet forest, 1 times found in Primary forest at river edge, 1 times found in tropical rainforest, 2 times found in mature wet forest, 1 times found in mature cloud forest, 1 times found in mature moist forest, ...
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 3 times strays, 1 times ground nest, 2 times column on ground, 1 times Workers carrying cut leaves, 2 times Sobre Vegetacion, 1 times on tree trunk, 2 times nocturnal strays, 1 times just into forest off SW corner lab clearing; Pentaclethra tree, first major fork, 1 times harvesting carrion bait, 2 times ex sifted leaf litter, 1 times at bait, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods: 12 times search, 10 times Malaise, 3 times hand collecting, 2 times Foggin, 1 times Foso, 1 times Baiting, 2 times Sweeping, 2 times flight intercept trap, 1 times Fogging, 1 times miniWinkler, 1 times observation, ...
Elevations: collected from 5 - 1610 meters, 410 meters average