This species occurs at 1,200-1,800m asl on the Pacific slopes of the Cordillera Occidental in Ecuador, from the provinces of Imbabura and Esmeraldas, south to Bolivar. It has been recorded from around ten localities.
Habitat and Ecology
It is a cloud forest species that lives in bromeliads by day. At night, individuals have been found on ferns and leaves up to 2m above the ground, in dense forest, and along streams. It is not known whether or not it can adapt to disturbed habitats. It is presumed to breed by direct development, but the site of egg deposition is not known.
It appears to be an uncommon species, but it is hard to find, and so it might not be as rare as it seems.
Habitat destruction and degradation are taking place due to agricultural development, plantations, logging, and human settlement. Some other species of Eleutherodactylus that are associated with streams have undergone dramatic declines and disappearances, possibly due to chytridiomycosis, so the status of this species should be monitored carefully.
Its geographic range overlaps the Reservas Ecológica Cotacachi-Cayapas and the Reserva Ecológica Los Illinizas.
John Lynch, Luis A. Coloma, Santiago Ron 2004. Pristimantis crucifer. In: IUCN 2014