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Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru. In Costa Rica it occurs throughout the country above 500m elevation.
This is a montane species that occurs at mid-elevation, from 600-1500m. It is most abundant in seasonally dry to moist forest habitat and less common in cloud forest and very wet forest. It also seems more abundant in disturbed habitats than in mature forest. In Costa Rica it does well in synanthropic habitats, being common in the Central Valley and in scrubby forest on the Pacific slope in and below Monteverde.
Nests are usually in dead stems of trees, often in relatively hard wood, and usually high in the tree or otherwise highly insolated areas. Nests occasionally occur in live stems; I have collected nests from live stems of Cecropia angustifolia, Hampea appendiculata, and an unidentified lauraceous tree. It usually appears that they opportunistically use preexisting cavities rather than excavating their own. Colonies are often large and polydomous, occurring in many dead branches of multiple adjacent trees. Incipient colonies are monogynous in small dead or live stems.
Workers are diurnal foragers and may be found scattered on foliage and branch surfaces. In the field they look remarkably similar to Crematogaster and may even elevate the gaster when disturbed.
Emery, C. (1896). Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. XVII-XXV. Bullettino della Societˆ Entomologica Italiana 28, 33Ð107.
Longino, J. T. (2006). A Taxonomic review of the genus Myrmelachista (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Costa Rica. Zootaxa 1141:1-54.
Wheeler, W. M. (1934). Neotropical ants collected by Dr. Elisabeth Skwarra and others. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 77, 157Ð240.
|Myrmelachista zeledoni||n. sp.||Emery, C., 1896, Studi sulle formiche della fauna Neotropica., Bollettino della Societa Entomologica Italiana 28, pp. 33-107: 70-71, (download)||70-71||3798|
|Myrmelachista zeledoni||Longino, J. T., 2006, A taxonomic review of the genus Myrmelachista (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Costa Rica., Zootaxa 1141, pp. 1-54: 46-48, (download)||46-48||21030||GoogleMaps|
Found most commonly in these habitats: 13 times found in cloud forest, 9 times found in primary cloud forest, 7 times found in cloud forest edge, 1 times found in pasture/cloudforest edge, 7 times found in montane wet forest, 5 times found in rainforest edge, 4 times found in ridgetop cloud forest, 1 times found in 2nd growth veg., 3 times found in montane rainforest edge, 1 times found in 2nd growth cloud forest, ...
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 19 times beating vegetation, 9 times beating veg., 9 times ex canopy tree, 4 times Malaise trap, 1 times ex dead composit stem. Polygynous., 6 times on low vegetation, 5 times ex relict tree in pasture, 1 times Wet forest. Single-queen colony in dead stick. Workers were out foraging on near, 5 times at bait, 1 times Pasture/forest edge. Workers in dead branches., 1 times in live stems, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods: 28 times Beating, 9 times Search, 14 times fogging, 10 times Malaise, 5 times Baiting, 2 times MiniWinkler, 2 times pan trap, 2 times sweep net, 2 times yellow pan trap, 1 times MaxiWinkler, 1 times beating vegetation (1 hour), ...
Elevations: collected from 570 - 2230 meters, 1265 meters average