Brazil (AM), Suriname (type locality), Panama, Costa Rica (lowland rainforest areas below 500m), Honduras.
The genus Eurhopalothrix occurs in the Neotropics and in the Indo-Australian-southwestern Pacific area (Brown and Kempf 1960). They are members of the "cryptobiotic" fauna: small, slow ants that live in rotten wood and leaf litter. They are predators, preying on small, soft-bodied arthropods (Wilson 1956, Brown and Kempf 1960, Wilson and Brown 1985).
Workers and nests are extremely difficult to see in the field, because the workers are camouflaged and very slow moving. On disturbance they freeze, often curling into a pupal position, and remain motionless for several minutes (Wilson and Brown 1985, Hoelldobler and Wilson 1986). As a result of their cryptic nature, they were considered extremely rare until the 1960's. But increasing use of Winkler and Berlese sampling has shown Eurhopalothrix to be relatively common. I encounter them in most Winkler samples from wet forest sites in Costa Rica.
In Costa Rica, I know this species from (1) 2 Berlese samples from La Selva Biological Station; (2) a worker on rotten wood at La Selva; (3) a Winkler sample from wet forest at C.A.T.I.E. near Turrialba; (4) workers in a rotten log at Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve; and (5) a Winkler sample from wet forest near the headquarters at Carara Biological Reserve.
Brown, W. L., Jr., Kempf, W. W. 1960. A world revision of the ant tribe Basicerotini. Stud. Entomol. (n.s.) 3:161-250.
Hoelldobler, B., Wilson, E. O. 1986. Soil-binding pilosity and camouflage in ants of the tribes Basicerotini and Stegomyrmecini (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Zoomorphology (Berl.) 106:12-20.
Mann, W. M. 1922. Ants from Honduras and Guatemala. Proc. U. S. Natl. Mus. 61:1-54.
Mayr, G. 1870. Formicidae novogranadenses. Sitzungsber. Kais. Akad. Wiss. Wien Math.-Naturwiss. Cl. Abt. I 61:370-417.
Wilson, E. O. 1956. Feeding behavior in the ant Rhopalothrix biroi Szabo. Psyche (Camb.) 63:21-23.
Wilson, E. O., Brown, W. L., Jr. 1985 ("1984"). Behavior of the cryptobiotic predaceous ant Eurhopalothrix heliscata, n. sp. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Basicerotini). Insectes Soc. 31:408-428.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 9 times found in montane wet forest, 2 times found in wet forest, 1 times found in Puesto9,257g, 10m., 1 times found in tropical moist forest, 1 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 1 times found in Puesto 1,99G,10m., 1 times found in second growth forest, 1 times found in tropical wet forest, 1 times found in 2nd growth forest
Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 5 times Winkler, 5 times maxiWinkler, 3 times Berlese, 3 times Search, 3 times Mini Winkler, 2 times MiniWinkler
Elevations: collected from 30 - 1350 meters, 452 meters average