This species is restricted to south-western Guatemala, being known only from the southern slopes of Volcán Tajumulco and adjacent volcanic highlands in San Marcos, Guatemala. It occurs at elevations of 1,700-2,700m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It lives in humid montane forest and forest edges, surviving only in mature old-growth forest. It is a bromeliad specialist. Breeding takes place by direct development and is not dependent upon water.
It used to be extremely common, but seems to have undergone declines: when it was discovered in the 1930s, nearly 60 specimens were collected just by searching bromeliads at the type locality. Forty years later, they could be found in around half of all bromeliads inspected. It is now even less common (2005) than it was in the 1970s (Carlos Vásquez pers. comm. 2007).
Much of its forest habitat has been cleared for livestock, cultivation of crops, and wood extraction. The reasons behind the decline in density of this species is not known.
It has been recorded from the 'Quetzal Reserve' close to Finca Insula in Chiapas, Mexico (Ted Papenfuss and Sean Rovito pers. comm. 2007). This species is in need of improved habitat protection and close population monitoring.
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
Acevedo, M., Wake, D. & Vasquez, C. 2008. Dendrotriton bromeliacius. In: IUCN 2014