This species occurs on the Pacific versant of the Andes in Ecuador (from Imbabura south to Eloro), at 1,500-1,800m asl. Specimens from the northern part of the Cordillera Central in Colombia are currently assigned to this species, but almost certainly belong to an undescribed species.
Habitat and Ecology
It is a subterranean species, living in old growth and disturbed forests. It has been found along roads, streams and rivers, but it is not known whether or not it can survive in degraded, open areas.
This species is common in Colombia and uncommon in Ecuador.
Deforestation as a result of expanding agriculture is a potential threat to it, but there is not enough information available to confirm this.
In Ecuador, its geographic range overlaps with the Reserva Ecológica Cotacachi-Cayapas and the Reserva Ecológica Los Illinizas.
According to Fletcher-Lazo (2002), this species is endemic to Ecuador. Lynch (1999) considers that this species does not belong to the Colombian fauna. Nonetheless, he uses the name C. "pachynema" referring to an endemic species on the northen part of the Colombian Cordillera Central. This account includes both the Ecuadorian and Colombian populations.
Luis A. Coloma, Santiago Ron, Fernando Castro, Mario Yánez-Muñoz, John Lynch, Mark Wilkinson 2004. Caecilia pachynema. In: IUCN 2013