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Southern Mexico to Panama. Costa Rica: Cordillera de Talamanca and Cordillera Volcanica Central.
This species is a montane specialist. One of the INBio parataxonomists, A. Picado, collected a worker at 2400m on Cerro Gemelos in the C. de Talamanca. The ALAS project collected abundant workers at the 2000m site on the Barva Transect in Braulio Carrillo National Park. It was one of the most abundant species there (in a place where ants in general were rarely seen). The lowest elevation record in Costa Rica is 1800m on the Barva Transect. The LLAMA project has found this species to be a common cloud forest inhabitant throughout Central America. The lowest elevation record so far is 1200m at a site in Honduras.
In Costa Rica I collected the species nesting in the base of a bromeliad in an old treefall, in the live stems of an epiphytic Araliaceae in a treefall, and under an epiphyte mat in the same treefall. The latter two collections both contained single dealate queens and most of the nest contents were examined, suggesting that the species is monogynous. Elsewhere in Central America I have collected it in dead or live stems. Nests may lack a queen, suggesting polydomy. In the Cordillera de Chiapas it was an abundant arboreal ant with populous colonies. On opening nests, workers were relatively aggressive and stung, leaving a moderate but lasting pain.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 45 times found in cloud forest, 18 times found in montane wet forest, 7 times found in mesophil forest, 5 times found in 2º mixed hardwood forest, 1 times found in low 2nd growth veg., 2 times found in montane wet forest treefall, 4 times found in oak cloud forest, 1 times found in mature wet forest, 5 times found in mixed hardwood forest, 3 times found in Liquidambar 2nd growth forest, ...
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 56 times beating vegetation, 20 times ex sifted leaf litter, 1 times ex live stem, 1 times nest in dead stem, 2 times ex dead twig, 1 times under epiphytes, 3 times nest in dead stick, 1 times ex live stem Araliaceae, 2 times beating veg., 2 times at bait, 3 times Sobre Vegetacion, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods: 58 times Beating, 15 times search, 15 times Malaise, 15 times MiniWinkler, 3 times Sweeping, 2 times Baiting, 2 times Flight Intercept Trap, 3 times MaxiWinkler, 2 times Winkler, 1 times beating vegetation, 1 times Berlese, ...
Elevations: collected from 1200 - 2400 meters, 1679 meters average