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Northern Brazil to Mexico (ramulorum s.l.). Costa Rica: throughout the country to 1200m elevation.
Tapinoma ramulorum Emery 1896:101. Syntype worker, queen, male: Costa Rica, San Jose. Inhabiting dry twigs of a tree (Vernonia brachiata).
This is the most abundant species in vegetated habitats of Costa Rica. It occurs in most habitats, from sea level to middle elevations. Nests are in almost any kind of preformed plant cavity, but the chambers are usually very small and may not be sharply bounded. Nests can occur in tiny dead twigs (down to 5mm outside diameter, 3mm inside diameter), larger dead branches, under bits of loose bark, in cavities in live stems, under and in epiphyte mats, in the bases of bromeliads, and sometimes in myrmecophytes. Tapinoma ramulorum may be found nesting close to other ant nests. For example, a dead branch with a Camponotus nest in the center may have a T. ramulorum nest under the loose bark or bits of rotten wood on the surface of the branch. Colonies are often polygynous.
Emery described this species as having scape surpassing occiput by one to one and a half times diameter. I am using this name to hold a large number of specimens that exhibit what seems like too much variation to be intraspecific. But at this point I cannot make any further distinctions. The variation is in scape length and color, and this variation is also reflected in the queens.
Emery, C. 1896. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. XVII-XXV. Bullettino della Societˆ Entomologica Italiana 28:33-107.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 58 times found in montane wet forest, 9 times found in CCL 400, 7 times found in CCL 700m., 6 times found in Sura 700m, 9 times found in CES 300m., 6 times found in SSO 350m, 7 times found in Entre SHO y SSE, 1 times found in east side Huertos, 4 times found in CCL820M, 4 times found in CES 300m, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 110 times Fogging, 40 times Foggin, 18 times search, 17 times Malaise, 5 times Berlese, 5 times flight intercept trap, 3 times Sweeping, 1 times hand collecting, 1 times Pitfall, 1 times blacklight, 1 times Mini Winkler, ...
Elevations: collected from 50 - 1240 meters, 213 meters average
Type specimens: syntype of Tapinoma ramulorum: casent0904028