This species is found in the cordilleras of Costa Rica and the highlands of central Panama, at elevations of 1,150-2,700 m asl (Savage 2002).
Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits relatively undisturbed, dense, primary humid montane forest. Breeding takes place by direct development.
In Costa Rica, this species is uncommon (Puschendorf et al. 2006), but believed to be moderately abundant and stable (G. Chaves pers. comm. 2015). Lips (1998) reported a sharp decline at Las Tablas (Costa Rica), but populations have persisted at Monteverde (Costa Rica) (Pounds et al. 1997). Further information is needed on the status of the species' populations in Panama.
In Panama, the major threat is logging. In Costa Rica threats to the species are unknown (G. Chaves pers. comm. 2015). The cause of the decline at Las Tablas has not been determined, but chytridiomycosis may be involved, as it was detected in this species at this location (Lips et al. 2003). It persists at Monteverde where chytrid has also been recorded (Pounds et al. 1997). More recently, chytrid was not detected in frogs (n=4) collected along an altitudinal transect in Costa Rica (Puschendorf et al. 2006).
This species was previously included in the genus Eleutherodactylus (Crawford and Smith 2005). Populations in Panama might belong to a different species.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2015. Craugastor melanostictus. In: IUCN 2014