This species is only known from two localities (190 and 230 m asl) separated by about 15 km in the Department of Rivera, northern Uruguay (Maneyro et al. 2008). These localities' immediate surroundings have been repeatedly surveyed since 2004, but no new reports have been recorded, and the area of occupancy is currently estimated to be less than 10 km² (R. Maneyro pers. comm. September 2009). It is, however, possible that it may occur in other nearby localities close to its currently known range, including the neighbouring state of Rio Grande do Sul, in Brazil, although the predominant kind of land use in this state is extensive agriculture, rather than forestry (R. Maneyro pers. comm. September 2009).
Habitat and Ecology
This species is found in a soft hilly area with an open landscape and predominance of grasslands surrounded by small, shallow and seasonal streams; this area is currently modified by eucalyptus and pine plantations. Circumstantial reproductive evidence suggests that reproduction in this species takes place during winter (Maneyro et al. 2008). It is presumed to breed by laying eggs in water.
Individuals of this species were found throughout the year, but their frequency of capture (about 1/1000 individuals) was the lowest of the 23 anuran species collected in the study area (Maneyro et al. 2008), suggesting that this is a relatively rare species. It is also possible that the species may not occur at the type locality any more, given that the few water bodies that used to be there have been found dried up in the last few years (R. Maneyro pers. comm. September 2009).
Modification of the original habitat due to plantation of introduced tree species is considered a threat to this species. The localities where this species was found belong to a large-scale forestry company, which cultivates eucalyptus and pine trees (the latter is especially common in the areas where the species was found) (R. Maneyro pers. comm. September 2009). The availability of water bodies at the type locality could also have been affected by dry spells (R. Maneyro pers. comm. September 2009).
Red List Status
Critically Endangered (CR)
In the Melanophryniscus moreirae group according to the original description (Maneyro et al. 2008).
Maneyro, R. & Angulo, A. 2009. Melanophryniscus langonei. In: IUCN 2014