This species has a wide but patchy distribution in lowland Cuba and the Isla de Juventud. It ranges from sea level up to 70m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits xeric and mesic lowland forests and savannahs. The males call from flooded ditches and large temporary pools of rainwater, and the eggs are laid in still water. It is an explosive breeder, though outside the breeding season it remains in burrows below ground.
It is abundant during breeding, but otherwise burrows underground and is rarely seen.
The major threats to this species are habitat loss and degradation, due to agriculture (it occurs in an area of intense agricultural production), and pollution from agricultural pesticides. The spread of the invasive plant species Dichrostachys cinerea is also threatening this species' native habitat.
It occurs in several protected areas. There is a need to control the spread of invasive species within these existing protected areas.
Red List Status
Listed as Vulnerable because its Area of Occupancy is less than 2,000 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat in Cuba.
Blair Hedges, Luis Díaz 2004. Peltophryne empusa. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T54634A11179047. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2004.RLTS.T54634A11179047.en