This species is present in the Northern and Central Ranges of the island of Trinidad, in Trinidad and Tobago, occurring from montane areas down to sea level. In Venezuela, the taxonomic status of the populations from the southern versant of the central Venezuelan Coastal Range are currently being assessed (Manzanilla et al., in prep., in Manzanilla et al., 2007).
Habitat and Ecology
Adults are found along densely shaded, narrow, shallow, slow-flowing, clear water streams in undisturbed montane and moist forests, where they engage in elaborate courtship and defensive behaviours. A terrestrial species, it lays its eggs in leaf-litter and on rocks near streams and the adults carry the tadpoles on their backs to the deeper stream pools. The populations in Tamana caves in central Trinidad are known to use the cave ponds for their tadpoles. Tadpoles in other populations have also been found in still temporary pools far from streams. The exact deposition site appears to be dependent on the presence of predators, with adults migrating significant distances in search of predator-free pools. These animals depend on the insects that eat bat guano for food.
In Trinidad it is considered to be very common with generally stable populations.
In Trinidad, the species is locally threatened by domestic, agricultural, and some industrial water pollution. On the southern slopes of the Northern Range in Trinidad, deforestation has resulted in fragmentation of the species' habitat.
No conservation measures are known for this species in Trinidad.
Morphological and chromosomal evidence support the hypothesis that Mannophryne trinitatis is restricted to the island of Trinidad (Barrio-Amorós et al., 2006). The population from Península de Paria, Venezuela, has been found to be a different species, Mannophryne venezuelensis (Manzanilla et al., 2007).
Ariadne Angulo 2010. Mannophryne trinitatis. In: IUCN 2014