Southern Mexico to Bolivia and southeastern Brazil. Costa Rica: common in all lowland sites; absent from wet montane forest.
Brown and Wilson (1959) summarize the genus as follows:
"Widespread in tropics and warm temperate areas. Primarily forest-dwelling; some species occur in grassland and arid scrub. ... Nests mostly in soil and rotting wood; a few species live in arboreal plant cavities in tropical rain forest. Foraging hypogaeic to epigaeic-arboreal. Food: most species are collembolan feeders; a few are polyphagous predators or occasionally feed on sugary substances..."
Members of the genus are all predaceous, with a kinetic mode of attack (Bolton 1999).
elongata is one of the most common Strumigenys species in forested habitats of Costa Rica. It occurs in dry and wet forests. It may nest on the forest floor in dead wood or under stones, or under epiphytes in the canopy. Brown (1954, 1962) reports that it is definitely a collembolan feeder.
Bolton, B. 1999. Ant genera of the tribe Dacetonini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Nat. Hist. 33:1639-1689.
Bolton, B. 2000. The ant tribe Dacetini, with a revision of the Strumigenys species of the Malagasy Region by Brian L. Fisher, and a revision of the Austral epopostrumiform genera by Steven O. Shattuck. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 65:1-1028.
Brown, W. L., Jr. 1954(1953). The neotropical species of the ant genus Strumigenys Fr. Smith: Group of elongata Roger. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 61:189-200.
Brown, W. L., Jr. 1962. The neotropical species of the ant genus Strumigenys Fr. Smith: Synopsis and keys to the species. Psyche 69:238-267.
Brown, W. L., Jr., Wilson, E. O. 1959. The evolution of the dacetine ants. Quarterly Review of Biology 34:278-294.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 158 times found in tropical rainforest, 91 times found in mature wet forest, 63 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 53 times found in tropical moist forest, 48 times found in 2º wet forest, 46 times found in montane wet forest, 39 times found in tropical wet forest, 38 times found in 2º lowland tropical rainforest, 25 times found in 2º tropical rainforest, 18 times found in lowland wet forest, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 448 times MiniWinkler, 68 times Winkler, 115 times MaxiWinkler, 30 times Berlese, 28 times Mini Winkler, 5 times Night MiniWinkler, 3 times search, 1 times under log, 1 times Baiting, 1 times Malaise
Elevations: collected from 15 - 1350 meters, 263 meters average