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Costa Rica (type locality), Panama, Jamaica, Cuba, Grenada. Costa Rica: Atlantic and southern Pacific lowlands.
I know this species from La Selva Biological Station and from Sirena in Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula. At La Selva I know it from stray workers and males at blacklights. At Sirena I observed a colony or colony fragment. A tight column of 39 adults was moving along a trail. They stopped at one point, the column broke up, and individuals ran madly about in a small area. After about 10 minutes of this a less well defined column moved 1m away to a spot under a Cecropia leaf. They were carrying pupae and large larvae, and one worker was missing the gaster.
The type locality of punctaticeps is Jimenez, a site near present-day Guapiles, in the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica.
I used to call this species ambigua Santschi, and a different species (JTL-007) punctaticeps. John Lattke examined the types and concluded that ambigua was a junior synonym of punctaticeps, and the species I used to call punctaticeps was undescribed.
Emery, C. 1890. Voyage de M. E. Simon au Venezuela (Decembre 1887 - Avril 1888). Formicides. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Fr. (6)10:55-76.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 12 times found in mature wet forest, 8 times found in lowland rainforest, 7 times found in montane wet forest, 2 times found in wet forest, 3 times found in rainforest, 3 times found in La Selva, 1 times found in montane wet forest, small patch at edge of road, probably 2ndary, Vachelia with Pseudomryemx ants presnt in understory, 1 times found in CCL 237, east 3m, 1 times found in riparian rainforest, small strip of 2nd growth at side of river, bordering an old Cacao plantation with very open understory, lots of Vachelia ant plants in understory, 1 times found in second growth rain forest, ...
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 13 times ex sifted leaf litter, 3 times Hojarasca, 3 times Sura, 3 times SCH, 2 times bajo de M/03, 1 times nest in ground, 1 times Malaise trap, 1 times ex dead wood, 1 times Claro, 1 times bajo de M/17, 1 times bajo de M/01, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods: 22 times Malaise, 10 times miniWinkler, 5 times search, 4 times flight intercept trap, 3 times maxiWinkler, 4 times Pitfall, 3 times Mini Winkler, 1 times Winkler, 1 times yellow pan trap, 1 times trapped in tent.
Elevations: collected from 10 - 720 meters, 170 meters average