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Colombia (type locality), Costa Rica. Costa Rica: Braulio Carrillo National Park from 800-1000m, Penas Blancas at 1000m.
In Costa Rica the species is known from a few Winkler samples and three nest collections: (1) wet forest gap; in base of live Cephaelis plant; nest at ground level amongst cold, wet leaf litter; plant base 1.5cm dia; seed caches inside. (2) wet forest gap; in 1cm diameter dead stick in leaf litter; seed caches inside. (3) in dead branch lodged in vegetation. The types were found in a rotten tree branch on the ground, also with a cache of seeds.
The types of diabolus are from Choco, Colombia. Costa Rican specimens are a bit different: the vertex lobes of the major are shinier.
Types Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard.
diagnosis Similar in various respects to the species listed in the heading above, but strongly distinguished as follows.
Major: a sharp, upcurved horn grows from the center of the clypeus; humeri are very prominent, seen from above extending beyond the rest of the pronotum below, and in dorsal-oblique view forming a large equilateral triangle; propodeal spines more than half as long as the propodeal basal face; carinulae and rugulae on the frontal lobes give way posteriorly to a tight rugoreticulum, which then yields to a loose rugoreticulum, and next to foveolae, which finally are replaced by a smooth zone on the occiput.
Minor: all of head and mesosoma and most of waist foveolate; humeri angulate; propodeal spines half as long as the propodeal basal face and curved backwards.
Measurements (mm) Holotype major: HW 1.18, HL 1.36, SL 0.54, EL 0.20, PW 0.64.
Paratype minor: HW 0.52, HL 0.54, SL 0.58, EL 0.12, PW 0.52.
Color Major: body and mandibles medium reddish brown; other appendages yellow.
Minor: concolorous brownish yellow.
Range Known only from the type locality.
Biology The type colony, found on a forested mountain ridge, was nesting in a 4-cm-wide, rotten tree branch on the ground. A cache of seeds was present, as well as a male (1-4 June).
figure Upper: holotype, major. Lower: paratype, minor. COLOMBIA: Finca Los Guaduales, 10 km southwest of San Jose del Palmar, Rio Torito, Choco (Charles Kugler). Scale bars = 1 mm.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 16 times found in cloud forest, primary, near ridgetop, 11 times found in wet forest, 9 times found in mature wet forest, 2 times found in mature cloud forest, 5 times found in montane wet forest, 2 times found in cloud forest, primary, along steep ridge near peak, 2 times found in mature wet forest gap.
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 29 times ex sifted leaf litter, 7 times pan trap, 1 times nest in clay bank, 1 times in dead branch lodged in vegetation, 4 times Hojarasca, 1 times night foragers, 1 times nest in base of live shrub, 1 times Nest in 1cm dia dead stick in leaf litter, 1 times bajo de M/18, 1 times at bait.
Collected most commonly using these methods: 25 times miniWinkler, 7 times Pan Trap, 2 times search, 4 times Mini Winkler, 3 times Winkler, 1 times baiting, 1 times flight intercept trap, 1 times maxiWinkler.
Elevations: collected from 500 - 1350 meters, 879 meters average
Type specimens: paratype Pheidole diabolus: jtlc000016364