This species is found in the northern slopes of the Meseta Central de Chiapas, Mexico, and the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, western Guatemala, from 1,540-2,200m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
This species inhabits cloud forests, and is associated with mountain streams where it breeds.
It was common according to Duellman (2001) but it might now be uncommon. Recent searches in Guatemala have failed to find the species, and it seems that this population is declining. It is known now from only one locality in Chiapas, in a fragile ecosystem supporting only a few individuals.
The expansion of agriculture and human settlements in northern Chiapas and Guatemala are a major threat. However, the observed decrease might also be due to chytridiomycosis, which has seriously affected other stream-breeding amphibians in the region.
This species is not known to occur in any protected areas, and protection of the Chiapan cloud forests is urgently needed to ensure the persistence of this, and other endemic, species in the region. Given the possible threat of chytridiomycosis, recommended conservation measures might need to include the establishment of a captive-breeding programme. Further research is needed to determine whether or not the species has been affected by chytrid. This species is protected by Mexican law under the "Special Protection" category (Pr).
Georgina Santos-Barrera, Luis Canseco-Márquez, Manuel Acevedo, Antonio Muñoz Alonso, Joseph Mendelson III 2006. Plectrohyla acanthodes. In: IUCN 2013