This species is found at intermediate elevations (from 2,300-2,900m asl) on the Amazonian slopes of the Andes in northern Ecuador (Sucumbios and Napo Provinces) and southern Colombia (Putumayo department, eastern flank of the Nudo de Pasto). It is known from relatively few localities.
Habitat and Ecology
This terrestrial species occurs in sloping areas of upper humid montane forest, but can also be found in forest edges. Specimens were found under rocks and logs, and on areas of humid grass by day (Lynch and Duellman 1980). They are also found amidst leaf litter (Mueses-Cisneros, 2005). Reproduction occurs by direct development.
It has never been a common species but is regularly encountered in appropriate habitat. The last records might be from the 1970s in Ecuador, but there have been no known recent attempts to find it.
The major threats to this species are general habitat loss, caused by agricultural development (including the planting of illegal crops), and pollution (from the spraying of illegal crops).
In Ecuador, its geographic range overlaps with the Reserva Ecológica Cayambe-Coca; however, it does not occur in any protected areas in Colombia. There is a need for improved protection of the montane forest habitat of this species. Further survey work is also necessary to determine the current population status of this species.
Fernando Castro, Maria Isabel Herrera, Luis A. Coloma, Santiago Ron, John Lynch 2010. Hypodactylus elassodiscus. In: IUCN 2014