This species is known only from the type locality in the Corbett's Gap region, in the Knuckles Range of central Sri Lanka at 1,245m asl. It is separated from Philautus microtympanum by the Mahaweli River valley, which descends to about 500m at Kandy (Meegaskumbura and Manamendra-Arachchi 2005). There is also a recent record from the nearby Bambarella Peak, although this record may represent a distinct species (M. Meegaskumbura pers. comm.).
Habitat and Ecology
It is restricted to the highest elevations of the Knuckles Range, and is found in both open and closed-canopy habitats, in the leaf-litter, shrubs and trees in the sub-canopy. Males are seen calling from branches 0.3-3m above the ground (Meegaskumbura and Manamendra-Arachchi 2005). Breeding is presumed to take place by direct development.
It occurs at low abundance.
The major threat is forest clearance due to smallholder agricultural activities and logging.
Bambarella Peak is part of the Knuckles Forest Reserve, but there is still an urgent need for the protection of forest habitat in the Corbett's Gap region. Monitoring of the species' population is recommended.
Red List Status
Madhava Meegaskumbura, Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi 2006. Pseudophilautus steineri. In: IUCN 2014