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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: 15 times found in cloud forest, 5 times found in rainforest edge, 7 times found in cloud forest edge, 9 times found in primary cloud forest, 7 times found in moist forest, 1 times found in pasture/cloudforest edge, 7 times found in montane wet forest, 1 times found in wet forest, 4 times found in ridgetop cloud forest, 2 times found in degraded forest, ...
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 19 times beating vegetation, 13 times on low vegetation, 9 times beating veg., 9 times ex canopy tree, 1 times ex dead composit stem. Polygynous., 4 times Malaise trap, 5 times ex relict tree in pasture, 1 times Single-queen colony in dead stick, 5 times at bait, 4 times ex sifted leaf litter, 3 times ex dead twig, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods: 30 times Beating, 10 times Search, 14 times fogging, 10 times Malaise, 5 times Baiting, 1 times beating vegetation (2 hours), 2 times pan trap, 1 times beating vegetation (3 hour period), 1 times beating vegetation (3 hours), 2 times sweep net, 2 times yellow pan trap, ...
Elevations: collected from 570 - 2230 meters, 1258 meters average