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Mexico to Panama, Ecuador. Costa Rica: abundant in the lowlands of the Pacific side, south of Puntarenas, rare elsewhere.
Procryptocerus belti has been collected in both canopy and understory of primary rainforest, in second growth vegetation, in beach-edge vegetation, and in mangroves. Most collections are of foraging workers from low vegetation, but four nest series were collected from narrow-guage dead stems, at least one of which was detached and lodged in low vegetation. Collections have been made in the canopies of tall trees, including Brosimum, Sloanea, Ficus, and Leuhea. Specimens have been found in the feces of Cyclopes (silky anteater).
In Costa Rica, this species prefers seasonally dry habitats. It is very abundant in the lowlands of the Pacific side, south of Puntarenas, but is rare elsewhere. At La Selva Biological Station, in the wet Atlantic lowlands, it is a very rare element of the ant fauna, occurring sparsely in the tops of canopy trees.
Procryptocerus belti is very similar to P. hirsutus. Procryptocerus hirsutus occurs in lowland Amazonia, the Guyanas, and Trinidad, and is either parapatric or allopatric with P. belti. Procryptocerus hirsutus is larger (HW 1.0-1.3mm [n=7] for P. hirsutus versus 0.88-0.99mm [mean=0.93, n=12] for P. belti). The mesonotum is longitudinally rugose in P. hirsutus, reticulate rugose in P. belti figure) (with the exception of a specimen from Bugaba, Panama). The outer surface of the metatibia is coarsely rugose in P. hirsutus, relatively smooth in P. belti. The first gastral tergite is always uniformly punctate in P. belti, but in P. hirsutus it is variable, ranging from densely punctate to nearly smooth.
See P. pictipes for a discussion of character variation and possible phylogenetic relationships among P. belti, P. hirsutus, P. convexus, and P. pictipes.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 12 times found in montane wet forest, 3 times found in rainforest, 1 times found in 2nd growth vegetation, 2 times found in tropical rainforest, 3 times found in Wet forest, 2 times found in rainforest edge, 1 times found in Second growth vegetation with isolated tall trees, 2 times found in lowland wet forest, 1 times found in mature rainforest, 1 times found in tropical rain forest, clay loam soil, ...
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 1 times in dead stem, 2 times ex feces Cyclopes (silky anteater), 3 times Malaise trap, 1 times ex mangroves, 1 times strays, 3 times beating vegetation, 3 times Sobre Vegetacion, 3 times on low vegetation, 1 times ex feces of Cyclopes (silky anteater), 2 times copa de árbol, 2 times canopy, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods: 12 times Malaise, 10 times search, 8 times fogging, 4 times beating, 3 times Sweeping, 1 times miniWinkler, 1 times nest in log, brood, sexuals in nest, 1 times nest in log, dense forest, 1 times bait trap (squid carrion), 1 times flight intercept trap.
Elevations: collected from 10 - 1090 meters, 219 meters average