This species has the broadest distribution of any Telmatobius species. It is known from the Andean region of southern Peru, northern and central Bolivia and northern Chile. It is recorded in Peru from the Lake Titicaca and Cusco region (Cusco and Puno departments), with uncertain records from Ayacucho (not mapped). In Bolivia, it is recorded from the departments of La Paz, Oruro, and the highlands of Cochabamba. It is present in the altiplano of northern Chile (Parinacota, Lauca River, and Chungara Lake, Parinacota Province). It is also recorded from three localities in Argentina (Jujuy Province on the Bolivian border), although the taxonomic status of these specimens is unclear. It occurs from 3,000-5,244 asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It is a riparian, semi-aquatic frog of streams, waterfalls and slow moving water in montane grasslands and shrublands. Breeding takes place in small lakes, streams and rivers with good water quality.
In Bolivia and Peru it is locally common, although declines have been reported for Peruvian populations (Seimon et al., 2006). In Chile the species is reported to have large populations, and to be abundant in high plateau streams.
This or a closely related species is currently subject to human consumption in southern Peru (Angulo, 2008), and is susceptible to eutrophication of waterways through agricultural activities (livestock and agrochemicals). It is not currently threatened in Chile.
The species has tested positive for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection (Seimon et al., 2005, 2006) in the Cordillera Vilcanota of southern Peru, specimens exhibited clinical symptoms of chytridiomycosis. Healthy specimens, however, were found in the region of Puno, also in southern Peru, during recent fieldwork (February 2006; I. De la Riva pers. comm.). There is evidence of upward range expansion of this and another two anuran species to newly available habitat brought about by recent deglaciation in the Andes of Peru. The large increase in the upper limit of known Bd infections (from 4,112 to 5,348 m asl) also expands the spatial domain of potential Bd pathogenicity (Seimon et al., 2006).
In Bolivia the species has been recorded from Parque Nacional Cotapata and Parque Nacional Sajama. In Peru, it presumably occurs in Reserva Nacional del Titicaca. In Chile, it occurs in Parque Nacional Lauca. It is plausible that some populations of this widespread species are extinct or have declined due to chytridiomycosis, but further survey work is needed to investigate this.
This species is a complex of more than one species.
Javier Icochea, Wilfredo Arizabal, Edgar Lehr, Ignacio De la Riva, Alberto Veloso, Herman Núñez, Esteban Lavilla 2010. Telmatobius marmoratus. In: IUCN 2013