Telmatobius espadai is known from the vicinity of Choquetanga Chico, Inquisivi Province, Department of La Paz, Bolivia, and from near Río Apaza, Province of Chapare, Department of Cochabamba, Bolivia. It is considered to be endemic and only known to occur in the two places where it was collected, which are ca 12 km (airline) from each other, 3,000-3,500 m asl (De la Riva 2005).
Habitat and Ecology
The species can be found in clear streams at the ceja de montaña, the upper limit of the cloud forest. Adult specimens were found both above and under water under trunks and stones, juveniles and tadpoles were found under stones and among aquatic plants in small rivulets and tributary branches of the main stream. Telmatobius espadai may be a moderately terrestrial species (De la Riva 2005). The species inhabits permanent streams (I. De la Riva pers. comm. 2008).
Adults and juveniles are difficult to find; tadpoles were found to be abundant throughout the year in 1990, but in 1994 intensive sampling efforts yielded no tadpoles, and only a single tadpole was found in 1998 (De la Riva 2005). The last tadpole seen showed clinical symptoms of chytridiomycosis. The species is currently considered to be extremely rare (I. De la Riva pers. comm. 2008).
There is habitat alteration at the Río Apaza location given its proximity to the road (I. De la Riva, pers. comm. 2008).
The Río Apaza is at the edge of Carrasco National Park (I. De la Riva pers. comm. 2008).
Telmatobius espadai is distinguished from other similar species by a combination of morphological features and colour patterns (De la Riva 2005).
Ignacio De la Riva 2010. Telmatobius espadai. In: IUCN 2014