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Extant: 2 valid subspecies
Costa Rica to Colombia. Costa Rica: throughout the country below 500m elevation.
This species is one of the most common in lowland Costa Rica. It is very abundant in the Pacific lowlands and the southern Atlantic lowlands (e.g. Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve) but is relatively less abundant in the northern Atlantic lowlands (e.g. La Selva Biological Station and vicinity). It prefers low, scrubby vegetation and is rarely found in mature forest. Workers are diurnal. Nests are almost always in small dead stems that are in low vegetation or even on the ground in open areas. The exception was one nest I observed in a live internode of a Cecropia sapling at a pasture edge. The habitat preference of C. brevis is revealed at La Selva Biological Station, where it has been collected once by manual search at ground level in a disturbed area, and once in a Malaise trap, yet has not occurred in 52 canopy fogging samples.
In Corcovado, I observed a nest in a dead Cassia stem that was immediately adjacent to a large carton nest of an Azteca colony. Thus the species is not excluded by Azteca, and may even benefit by nesting near them. It would be worth investigating whether they share foraging trails with Azteca.
Forel, A. 1899. Biologia Centrali-Americana; or, contributions to the knowledge of the fauna and flora of Mexico and Central America. Insecta. Hymenoptera. 3 (Formicidae). London. 169 pp.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 7 times found in rainforest edge, 2 times found in GLASNOST plot, SCH, La Selva, 3 times found in roadside vegetation, 5 times found in rainforest, 4 times found in lowland rainforest, 1 times found in low 2nd growth vegetation, 1 times found in montane wet forest edge, 3 times found in scrubby riparian forest, 1 times found in La Chanchera., 1 times found in Second growth vegetation with isolated tall trees, ...
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 14 times on low vegetation, 1 times Witheringia asterotricha stem, 5 times general collecting, 1 times scrubby veg; in dead stem, 3 times SCH, 1 times nest in dead branch, 1 times in dead stem, 4 times beating veg., 1 times nest in 1cm dia stick on road., 1 times in Cecropia obtusifolia sapling, 2 times ex dead twig, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods: 14 times search, 5 times Malaise, 6 times beating low vegetation, 3 times beating vegetation (3 hours), 4 times beating, 1 times beating vegetation (3 hour period), 2 times flight intercept trap, 1 times sweep, 1 times beating vegetation (1 hour), 2 times Sweeping, 1 times beating vegetation (20 minutes), ...
Elevations: collected from 10 - 1195 meters, 342 meters average