Eleutherodactylus michaelschmidi is known from La Ceiba [type locality, 20 11'07'' N, 76 20'14'' W, 408 masl], Municipio Tercer Frente, and the region of Los Negros, Municipio Contramaestre, both localities in the karstic valleys and premontane areas at the north slope of Sierra Maestra, Province of Santiago de Cuba, Cuba (Díaz et al., 2007). The species is currently known only from this restricted area (L.M. Díaz, pers. comm. 2008).
Habitat and Ecology
The limestone mountains and premontane valleys inhabited by Eleutherodactylus michaelschmidi are covered by secondary vegetation and the remnants of a semideciduous forest. Many places, including the type locality, are widely used for coffee plantations. Specimens are often found at night (21:00–1:00 hours), mostly on rocky surfaces and cave entrances, but may also be found on fallen trunks. Other anuran species in this area include Bufo peltocephalus, B. taladai, Osteopilus septentrionalis, Eleutherodactylus atkinsi, E. auriculatus, E. cuneatus, E. ionthus, E. leberi, E. ronaldi, and E. varleyi (Díaz et al., 2007).
Although this is considered to be a relatively common species, it was never recorded before during previous surveys to this area (L.M. Díaz, pers. comm. 2008).
The area where this species occurs is used for coffee plantations, and it is also affected by urban encroachment: many places within the area have exposed karst, without vegetation cover, and the area is crossed by various roads and tracks (L.M. Díaz, pers. comm. 2008).
Cuba's Centro Nacional de Areas Protegidas considers the area where the species is found to be at medium risk. The species has not been found in a nearby protected area (L.M. Díaz, pers. comm. 2008).
Red List Status
Eleutherodactylus michaelschmidi can be distinguished from other similar species by a combination of external characters, advertisement call and chromosome patterns (Díaz et al. 2007).
Luis M.Díaz 2008. Eleutherodactylus michaelschmidi. In: IUCN 2014