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Extant: 2 valid subspecies
Costa Rica to Colombia. Costa Rica: throughout the country below 500m elevation.
This species is one of the most common in lowland Costa Rica. It is very abundant in the Pacific lowlands and the southern Atlantic lowlands (e.g. Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve) but is relatively less abundant in the northern Atlantic lowlands (e.g. La Selva Biological Station and vicinity). It prefers low, scrubby vegetation and is rarely found in mature forest. Workers are diurnal. Nests are almost always in small dead stems that are in low vegetation or even on the ground in open areas. The exception was one nest I observed in a live internode of a Cecropia sapling at a pasture edge. The habitat preference of C. brevis is revealed at La Selva Biological Station, where it has been collected once by manual search at ground level in a disturbed area, and once in a Malaise trap, yet has not occurred in 52 canopy fogging samples.
In Corcovado, I observed a nest in a dead Cassia stem that was immediately adjacent to a large carton nest of an Azteca colony. Thus the species is not excluded by Azteca, and may even benefit by nesting near them. It would be worth investigating whether they share foraging trails with Azteca.
Forel, A. 1899. Biologia Centrali-Americana; or, contributions to the knowledge of the fauna and flora of Mexico and Central America. Insecta. Hymenoptera. 3 (Formicidae). London. 169 pp.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 2 times found in GLASNOST plot, SCH, La Selva, 3 times found in roadside vegetation, 4 times found in lowland rainforest, 5 times found in rainforest edge, 3 times found in scrubby riparian forest, 1 times found in montane wet forest edge, 1 times found in low 2nd growth vegetation, 3 times found in montane wet forest, 1 times found in Second growth vegetation with isolated tall trees, 3 times found in rainforest, ...
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 1 times Witheringia asterotricha stem, 5 times general collecting, 1 times nest in dead branch, 1 times in dead stem, 4 times beating veg., 1 times scrubby veg; in dead stem, 3 times SCH, 4 times on low vegetation, 1 times nest in 1cm dia stick on road., 1 times in Cecropia obtusifolia sapling, 1 times Sweep sample of roadside vegetation., ...
Collected most commonly using these methods: 14 times search, 5 times Malaise, 4 times beating, 1 times sweep, 2 times Sweeping, 2 times beating vegetation (3 hours), 2 times flight intercept trap, 1 times maxiWinkler, 1 times beating vegetation (1 hour), 1 times beating vegetation (3 hour period).
Elevations: collected from 10 - 1195 meters, 282 meters average