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Costa Rica, Panama.
Azteca nigra occurs in lowland wet forest, where it forms ant gardens in the understory. I have observed two colonies, both in the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica. One was in Tortuguero National Park and the other at La Selva Biological Station. The Tortuguero collection was a cluster of small ant gardens in low vegetation. One nest was adjacent to a group of rotten sticks, inside of which were males and winged queens. Inside another stick was an aggregation of Camponotus atriceps workers, living parabiotically with the Azteca. The La Selva collection was also a series of small carton nests sprouting a few epiphytes. The nests were scattered on stems and leaves of a cluster of low melastomes. The nests covered coccoid Hemiptera and contained ant brood. A few higher nests on individual melastome leaves contained alate queens. One basal, central nest was built around a 50cm long dead branch. Camponotus atriceps were parabiotic in the central nest and some of the satellite nests. The Camponotus and Azteca occupied separate chambers, but the chambers were connected and the two species moved freely among each other as the nests were being disturbed. In the central nest, which was a combination of carton chambers and chambers in the dead branch, the Azteca were clearly associated with the carton areas. It appeared that the Camponotus were living parabiotically in the nest of the Azteca, with the Azteca being the primary architects and owners of the nests.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 2 times found in wet forest, 1 times found in lowland rainforest, 1 times found in tropical wet forest, 3 times found in montane wet forest, 1 times found in lowland wet forest, 1 times found in mature wet forest, 1 times found in tropical rainforest.
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 2 times ex carton nest, 3 times beating vegetation, 1 times parabiotic in carton nest, 1 times in ant gardens, 3 times Sobre Vegetacion.
Collected most commonly using these methods: 2 times search, 3 times beating, 3 times Sweeping.
Elevations: collected from 5 - 575 meters, 124 meters average
Collect Date Range: collected between 1925-08-11 and 2011-05-09