|Combination in Camponotus: Emery, 1892c PDF: 167; in Camponotus (Myrmamblys): Forel, 1914a PDF: 272; in Camponotus (Myrmorhachis): Emery, 1920b PDF: 260; in Camponotus (Myrmobrachys): Emery, 1925d PDF: 166.|
Mexico to Colombia, ?Brazil: RJ. Costa Rica: possibly throughout the country but seems to have a somewhat patchy distribution.
I have many records of this species from around Monteverde in the Cordillera de Tilaran. I also have records from the Cordillera de Guanacaste (Cerro Cacao, Maritza, and Pitilla), Carara, and Manuel Antonio. I collected it in Parque Nacional in the middle of the capital city, San Jose. On the Atlantic slope, I have records from Hitoy Cerere and La Selva Biological Station. In spite of abundant collecting, I never encountered the species in Corcovado National Park. At La Selva, it seems to be very rare. Henry Hespenheide collected it once in 1988 and again in 1992. The latter collection was from vegetation reachable from the suspension footbridge across the Rio Puerto Viejo. The species has not been collected again, in spite of extensive inventory work at La Selva.
This is a tiny Camponotus species that usually lives in very open habitats. It often nests in very narrow-guage dead herb and vine stems, and I usually encounter them along weedy road margins or pasture edges. I have found nests in dead stems down to 3mm outside diameter, in various dead branches in low scrubby vegetation, in dead herb stalks along roadsides, in dead thorns of Acacia ruddiae, and in dead nodes of Cordia alliodora. A cluster of dead composit stalks contained a nest with only workers in a section of 12mm diameter stem, and workers and brood in a nearby hollow stem gall. This suggests they can be polydomous. I have often found single queens in nests, but in one case I found four dealate queens in a nest collection, so it appears they can be monogynous or polygynous.
Camponotus striatus has a strong foetid odor, like army ants. When nests are disturbed and workers are collected into alcohol the odor is easily detected. I have not noticed a foetid odor in any other species of Camponotus. These "ecitonine" odors occur sporadically in other ants (e.g. Pheidole fallax, various other Pheidole species). It has been hypothesized that these odors might be an evolved defense against army ants, and that the odors somehow repel army ants or disrupt their raiding behavior. Another possibility is that it repels attacks by various other ants that have evolved to flee from ecitionine odors.
Smith, F. 1862. Descriptions of new species of aculeate Hymenoptera, collected at Panama by R. W. Stretch, Esq., with a list of described species, and the various localities where they have previously occurred. Trans. Entomol. Soc. Lond. (3)1:29-44.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 5 times found in mesophil forest, 4 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 5 times found in ridgetop cloud forest, 1 times found in second growth mesophyl forest, 2 times found in pine oak scrubby forest, 1 times found in pine-mesophyll forest, 3 times found in lowland wet forest, 3 times found in montane wet forest, 2 times found in cloud forest, 1 times found in disturbed wet forest edge, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 14 times Beating, 14 times search, 3 times Malaise, 3 times Baiting, 2 times miniWinkler, 2 times Sweeping, 1 times Flight Intercept Trap, 1 times in dead stick, 1 times MaxiWinkler, 1 times Berlese
Elevations: collected from 20 - 1990 meters, 940 meters average