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Mexico to Colombia (Brown 1958, Lattke 1995). Costa Rica: widespread in wet forest between 500 and 2000m elevation, rare at lower elevations. Occurs from Cordillera de Guanacaste to Talamancas.
This is the most common Gnamptogenys species above 500m elevation in wet forest leaf litter. It occurs at lower elevations (e.g. La Selva) but is less common there. It is frequently encountered foraging on the ground at night, and is common in samples of sifted leaf litter (Winkler samples). It nests in and under dead wood on the ground, under stones, and in soil. It may be polygynous: I observed a nest in Monteverde with two dealate queens. Observations of prey items include lepidopteran larvae, isopods, diptera (adults and larvae), and beetle larvae.
Nest observation from Guanacaste Province, Cerro Cacao: I discovered a nest in the soil of a steep bank at the side of a trail. Many workers were out foraging, and several workers were observed dragging a dead Camponotus albicoxus to the nest. I excavated the nest; it extended no more than 10cm horizontally back into the bank. There were several irregular galleries and chambers. One major chamber contained the queen.
Brown, W. L., Jr. 1958. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. II. Tribe Ectatommini (Hymenoptera). Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 118:175-362.
Lattke, J. E. 1995. Revision of the ant genus Gnamptogenys in the New World (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research 4:137-193.
Norton, E. 1868. Description of Mexican ants noticed in the American Naturalist, April 1868. Communications of the Essex Institute 6:1-10.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 416 times found in montane wet forest, 261 times found in cloud forest, 178 times found in mesophyll forest, 132 times found in mature wet forest, 60 times found in mesophil forest, 53 times found in wet forest, 54 times found in lowland rainforest, 50 times found in lowland wet forest, 49 times found in 2ndary liquidambar forest, 39 times found in cloud forest, primary, near ridgetop, ...
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 924 times ex sifted leaf litter, 340 times at bait, 140 times Hojarasca, 36 times ex sifted litter from forest floor, 1 times found in fruit, 17 times forest litter, 26 times pan trap, 20 times Hojarasca, en bosque paralelo al sendero gradiente fuerte y al lado de paredon, 13 times Hojarasca, mature forest, dropping, 10 times ex sifted litter, 11 times Hojarasca, bosque, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods: 696 times MiniWinkler, 336 times Baiting, 215 times Mini Winkler, 141 times Winkler, 132 times MaxiWinkler, 54 times search, 32 times Berlese, 34 times Search & Berles, 35 times Pan Trap, 13 times Malaise, 14 times flight intercept trap, ...
Elevations: collected from 50 - 1930 meters, 1104 meters average
Type specimens: syntype of Ectatomma simplex spurium: casent0907173; syntype of Ectatomma satzgeri: casent0907172; syntype of Ectatomma simplex: casent0903838; syntype of Holcoponera simplex foreli: casent0915126; unpublished name: Gnamptogenys axitiosa: casent0911160