This species occurs through much of the central and eastern cordilleras of Panama, south through the Pacific slopes of Colombia (in Antioquia and Cauca Departments, and almost certainly more widely) and the northern slopes of the western and central cordilleras, to north-western Ecuador (south to the Guajalito Protection Forest in Pichincha Province). It has not yet been recorded from Costa Rica (as of August, 2007) (Federico Bolaños pers. comm. 2007), but may be present within this country. It is known only from a small number of localities within its overall range, from 300-2,000m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
Its habitat is very humid lowland, lower montane and cloud forests; it inhabits primary forest only. By day, individuals have been found in leaf-litter on the forest floor, whereas by night they favour perches above the ground. It lives only in areas of high frog densities, since it preys on other frogs. Breeding is by direct development; the eggs are carried on the back of the female.
This is a very rare species.
The major threats are deforestation due to agricultural development (including cultivation of illegal crops), logging, and human settlement, and pollution resulting from the spraying of illegal crops.
It has been recorded from Parque Internacional La Amistad, the Reserva Forestal Fortuna, and Parque Nacional Darién in Panama. In Ecuador, its geographic range overlaps with the Reserva Ecológica Cotacachi-Cayapas. It is not known from any protected areas in Colombia. An ex-situ population of this species is breeding at the El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center in Panama (Edgardo Griffith pers. comm. September, 2007).
This genus has recently been moved from the family Hylidae (Faivovich et al. 2005).
Coloma, L.A., Ron, S.R., Jungfer, K., Solís, F., Ibáñez, R., Jaramillo, C., Fuenmayor, Q. & Bolaños, F. 2008. Hemiphractus fasciatus. In: IUCN 2014