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Costa Rica: mid-elevation Atlantic slope.
This species occurs in mid-elevation wet forest habitats. So far it is known only from the Volcan Barva transect in Braulio Carrillo National Park, from 500-1100m elevation. I collected a nest in a treefall gap, in the 1.25cm diameter live stem of a melastome vine. It contained 32 workers, 1 dealate queen, and abundant brood of various sizes. One specimen was collected in a Project ALAS sweep sample, and another in a canopy fogging sample. Workers have been collected as foragers on low vegetation.
Measurements (holotype): HL 0.764, HW 0.722, SL 0.603, MeL 0.938.
This species keys to N. pleuriticus in Kempf (1959). The two species have a parapatric distribution on the Barva Transect in Braulio Carrillo National Park, N. pleuriticus occurring at La Selva Biological Station and the 500 m site, N. vargasi occurring around the 1100m site. Nesomyrmex vargasi differs from N. pleuriticus in the much smoother and shinier surface sculpture.
Kempf, W. W. 1959. A synopsis of the New World species belonging to the Nesomyrmex-group of the ant genus Leptothorax Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Studia Entomologica (n.s.) 2:391-432.
Longino, J. T. 2006. New species and nomenclatural changes for the Costa Rican ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecologische Nachrichten 8:131-143.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 2 times found in wet forest, 1 times found in mature wet forest gap, 3 times found in montane wet forest.
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 2 times strays, 1 times nest in live stem Melastomataceae vine, 1 times strays on refuge building, 1 times Sobre Vegetacion.
Collected most commonly using these methods: 3 times search, 1 times Foggin, 1 times Sweeping.
Elevations: collected from 500 - 1100 meters, 950 meters average
Type specimens: Holotype Nesomyrmex vargasi: inbiocri002281227; Paratype Nesomyrmex vargasi: inb0003225385, jtlc000008515, jtlc000008516, jtlc000008517, jtlc000008518, jtlc000008519, inbiocri002281228, inbiocri002282019; paratype of Nesomyrmex vargasi: lacment144699