This species occurs on the eastern slopes of Sierra del Aconquija, Sierra de Medina and Sierra de Taficillo (near Tucumán), in north-western Argentina, in Catamarca, Tucumán and Salta provinces, at 1,500-2,000m asl. It might occur more widely, including in Bolivia.
Habitat and Ecology
It is an arboreal species found in the tree canopy of montane forests (Yungas). During amplexus, males place eggs in the marsupial pouch on the female's back. The eggs hatch and the larvae develop in the pouch. The females subsequently deposit the larvae in small pools of water on the forest floor where metamorphosis takes place. This species' tolerance to habitat disturbance is not known.
It is a very rare species. The most recent record is from 1995, but there has been no recent survey work.
Major threats include selective logging, the clear-cutting of primary forests, introduction of predatory fish (trout), and the alteration of watersheds.
Some populations are probably protected in Parque Nacional Los Alisos.
This genus has recently been moved from the family Hylidae (Faivovich et al. 2005).
Esteban Lavilla 2004. Gastrotheca gracilis. In: IUCN 2014