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Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia. Costa Rica: widespread on the Pacific slope, from sea level to mid elevation, and with small incursions into the Penas Blancas Valley and the Turrialba area, both mid-elevation sites on the Atlantic slope. It has a parapatric distribution with D. validus, which occurs in the Atlantic lowlands.
Dolichoderus curvilobus and validus have identical nesting habits, forming large carton nests of very loosely woven plant fibers (Fig. 1). See additional notes and nest images under validus.
Figure 1. Nest of Dolichoderus curvilobus, Llorona, Corcovado National Park, 22 March 1981. Image on right is after disturbance, with sharpie marker for scale. Images by J. Longino.
This species is morphologically very similar to D. validus, with which it has a parapatric distribution. I have examined ten separate collections of curvilobus and 7 separate collections of validus, from scattered localities, and the head shape character is consistent.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 2 times found in tropical wet forest, 1 times found in tall wet forest, 2 times found in wet forest, 2 times found in rainforest edge, 2 times found in rainforest, 1 times found in second growth vegetation, 1 times found in swamp forest, 1 times found in Trailside second growth veg., surrounded by primary wet forest, 1 times found in lowland rainforest, 1 times found in montane wet forest.
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 1 times column on ground, 3 times on low vegetation, 1 times in carton pavilions on live stems, 1 times mercury vapor lamp, 1 times wet forest river edge; column on veg, 1 times strays, 1 times Sobre Vegetacion, 1 times in rotten wood, 1 times carton nest on low vegetation.
Collected most commonly using these methods: 1 times hand collecting, 3 times Search, 1 times blacklight, 1 times Sweeping, 1 times beating vegetation (20 minutes), 1 times beating vegetation (3 hours).
Elevations: collected from 5 - 945 meters, 287 meters average