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Mexico south to Bolivia and southern Brazil. Costa Rica: widespread.
From MacKay 1993:
This is a common species, found in disturbed habitats (especially coffee plantations) as well as virgin forest up to 800 meters in elevation. It is common in riparian sites. Nests are found in hollow, dead twigs in trees or in abandoned arboreal termite nests or in spines of Acacia bursaria (Wheeler, 1936, 1942; pers. obs.). It is commonly intercepted in quarantine on orchids, in pseudobulbs and in banana debris. These ants are not aggressive when the nest is disturbed, they escape very rapidly into the leaf litter. Sexuals are commonly collected in light traps. Stray sexuals have been collected in Jan. (Panama), Jan., Mar. and May (Brasil), May and June (Mexico), and July (Guiana).[MacKay Literature Cited]
This is by far the most common species in Costa Rica. They are most abundant in highly insolated areas such as roadsides, scrubby vegetation, and the high canopy. Nests are almost always in narrow guage dead stems, often simple stem fragments lodged in vegetation. They occasionally restrict nest openings with small amounts of carton construction, covering the ends of hollow sticks and leaving a small entrance hole. They are opportunistic nesters in myrmecophytes, particularly Cordia alliodora and Triplaris. In these cases they usually nest in dead branches low in the crown, away from the resident colony of dominant plant ants (e.g., Azteca pittieri, Pseudomyrmex viduus).
When held with forceps, workers produce a white, somewhat foamy substance that quickly spreads onto the forceps. They do not have the strong odor typical of other dolichoderines.
|Dolichoderus lutosus||Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55: 24, (download)||24||21367|
|Dolichoderus lutosus||Forel, A., 1905, Miscellanea myrmicologiques, II (1905)., Annales de la Societe Entomologique de Belgique 49, pp. 155-185: 159, (download)||159||4001|
Found most commonly in these habitats: 10 times found in tropical dry forest, 17 times found in tropical moist forest, 12 times found in lowland wet forest, 12 times found in dry forest, 4 times found in SSO 450m, 9 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 3 times found in Entre el SHO y SSE, 4 times found in Sura 700m, 8 times found in roadside vegetation, 4 times found in 2nd growth dry forest, ...
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 40 times beating vegetation, 9 times Malaise trap, 9 times ex sifted leaf litter, 3 times nest in hollow twig, 4 times ex Cordia alliodora, 2 times stray foragers/alates, 1 times ex live stems sprawling vine, 5 times nest in twig above ground, 5 times ex dead branch above ground, 4 times strays, 2 times in dead stick, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods: 34 times Fogging, 40 times Beating, 28 times search, 8 times hand collecting, 19 times hand collection, 12 times Malaise, 5 times direct collection, 6 times MaxiWinkler, 4 times Malaise trap, 3 times Flight Intercept Trap, 3 times Baiting, ...
Elevations: collected from 5 - 1480 meters, 220 meters average