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Mexico (type locality), Nicaragua, Costa Rica. Costa Rica: Atlantic lowlands.
Wilson (2003) describes the range as "Known from the type series; from near Cuichapa, Veracruz, 1600 m; and from Tuli Creek, near San Miguel, Nicaragua." Wilson states "In Veracruz, protensa has been found in both lowland rainforest and in montane cafetals, i.e., forest with coffee." The first Costa Rica record is from La Selva Biological Station. Steve Yanoviak collected minor workers and soldiers at a bait near STR400, while participating in the 2004 ant course.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 208 times found in tropical rainforest, 122 times found in tropical wet forest, 67 times found in mature wet forest, 33 times found in lowland wet forest, 23 times found in montane wet forest, 31 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 30 times found in riparian forest in ravine, 15 times found in riparian forest, 14 times found in 2º wet forest, 15 times found in tropical moist forest, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 337 times Baiting, 188 times MiniWinkler, 49 times MaxiWinkler, 13 times bait, 6 times Winkler, 8 times Night MiniWinkler, 4 times search, 2 times Beating, 2 times FIT
Elevations: collected from 30 - 1980 meters, 429 meters average