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Mexico, Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador. Costa Rica: lowland rainforest on the Atlantic slope and the Osa Peninsula.
This species prefers rainforest habitats. I most often encounter it as workers in recent treefalls or on low vegetation. I have seen two nests, both in dead stems:
Nest in 11mm diameter dead stick in Acacia ruddiae tree.
Nest in a hollow twig, 26cm long, 4mm outside dia., 2mm inside dia. The top had been broken off. Soldiers were on top, nearest the entrance, and a group of three blocked the mouth of the nest and slowly moved backwards as I broke open the nest. Nest contents were 93 minors (including callows), 10 majors, 26 pupae, 10 large larvae, and small brood.
Andrade, M. L. de, and C. Baroni Urbani. 1999. Diversity and adaptation in the ant genus Cephalotes, past and present (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Stuttgarter Beitrage zur Naturkunde Serie B (Geologie und Palaontologie) 271:1-889.
Wheeler, W. M. 1942. Studies of Neotropical ant-plants and their ants. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 90:1-262.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 6 times found in lowland wet forest, 4 times found in lowland rainforest, 4 times found in montane wet forest, 2 times found in wet forest, 1 times found in moist forest, 3 times found in tropical moist forest, 1 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 1 times found in agricultural area near forest, 1 times found in rainforest edge, 1 times found in tropical wet forest
Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 8 times Beating, 7 times search, 3 times Malaise, 2 times Foggin, 1 times FIT, 1 times MiniWinkler
Elevations: collected from 60 - 580 meters, 347 meters average