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Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia. Costa Rica: Atlantic lowlands. It has a parapatric distribution with D. curvilobus, which occurs in the Pacific lowlands and two mid-elevation Atlantic slope sites.
From MacKay 1993:
Swain (1977) reported extensively on the biology of this species. Nests are completely different than those of D. bispinosus. They are arboreal, 1.5 - 6 meters above the surface, constructed of coarse plant fibers (3 cm long) woven together like burlap. These ants apparently never nest in termite nests. They build shelters to enclose membracids. This species is probably monogynous; a nest contained 2,200 workers. They are aggressive when defending the nest. Nectar is the principal food source. They tend membracids and coccids, and visit extrafloral nectaries of plants including Inga edulis. They also collect bird droppings, insect fragments, seeds and unidentified material. They have a crepuscular foraging rhythm. Flights occur at dawn.[MacKay Literature Cited]
At La Selva Biological Station Phil DeVries found a large carton nest suspended from the thin branches of Rinorea (Violac.) tree. I collected the entire nest into a plastic bag, which was no easy task because these ants are incredibly aggressive. I placed the nest in a freezer for a day and then dissected it. In addition to workers and brood there were many males and alate queens. I never found the colony queen but the dissection was cursory enough that she could have been lost among the debris. The center of the nest contained what appeared to be an old euglossine bee tube. I encountered many tiny white cocoons in the nest, scattered and attached to the carton. One contained an adult beetle, but I have not succeeded in identifying it. I saw no other inquilines. I estimated the colony size to be 11800 workers, based on the wet weight of the entire sample, and weights of 10 subsamples for which number of ants was counted.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 2 times found in Sura 700m, 6 times found in montane wet forest, 3 times found in wet forest, 2 times found in mature wet forest, 3 times found in tropical wet forest, 3 times found in ridgetop cloud forest, 2 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 1 times found in pasture/cloud forest edge, 1 times found in La Selva, 1 times found in rainforest stream edge, ...
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 1 times Near junction CES and CEN trails. Large carton nest suspended from thin branches, 7 times beating veg., 5 times at bait, 4 times Sobre Vegetacion, 3 times beating vegetation, 2 times foragers, 1 times Primary forest at river edge. Nest exactly like D. validus nest; workers scatter, 1 times ex carton nest, 2 times bajo de M/26, 1 times Solanum adherens foliage, 1 times Primary forest at river edge. Strays. Rogeria all walking on a small tree I diss, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods: 10 times beating, 2 times Fogging, 5 times search, 5 times Malaise, 5 times baiting, 4 times Sweeping, 3 times flight intercept trap, 2 times Blacklight, 1 times beating vegetation (3 hour period).
Elevations: collected from 30 - 1070 meters, 265 meters average