This species' geographic range is from the humid forests of lowland and premontane zones and lower portion of the lower montane zone from northern Costa Rica to western Panama, from 40-1,800 m asl. There are no records of this species from Colombia although it has been cited as occurring there in some literature.
Habitat and Ecology
This species inhabits most forest types including humid lowland and montane forest. It is also found in degraded habitats outside forest. Adults are generally found on low vegetation. It is direct-developing species, and the eggs may be laid in the crevices of tree trunks.
While there might be more than one biological species classified in this taxon, with the exception of La Selva where there has been a 3.5% annual decline over 35 years (Whitfield et al. 2007), there are no signs of decline anywhere in the Costa Rica range (Lips 1998, Andrew R. Gray in litt. to Karen Lips 2007 [report on continued presence at Las Tablas]) though it is rare in Guayacan (Kubicki 2008). Pristimantis cruentus is common in San Vito (Santos-Barrera et al. 2007). The species is surviving at Monteverde (Pounds et al. 1997, Lips 1999), and is present at Las Tablas (Lips 1998, 1999) and Braulio Carrillo National Park (Pushchendorf et al. 2006). It was present even at La Selva, where declines had been reported, as recently as 2010 (Hilje and Mitchell Aide 2012). There is no information on the populations of this species in Panama, besides that it is known to be stable at El Copé (Crawford et al. 2010).
General habitat loss by the destruction of natural forests for agriculture and logging is a threat. While museum specimens of this species have been found to have the chytrid fungus, the current impact of this pathogen on the species is not known. The species was detected before epizootic chytridiomycosis in Panama in 2006 but was not detected in 2007 (Woodhams et al. 2008). At La Selva, declines seem to be driven by climate-driven reductions in quantity of standing leaf litter (Whitfield et al. 2007).
This form is probably a complex of more than one species.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2015. Pristimantis cruentus. In: IUCN 2014