This species is known only from seven localities on the Andean slopes of the Bolívar Province in central Ecuador, where it occurs at elevations of approximately 1,000-1,769m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It lives in montane forest near streams. Eggs are laid in the leaf-litter, and the males carry the larvae to running and standing water for development. It is not known if this species can adapt to habitat modification.
It appears to have been declining in the northern portion of its range in Ecuador, where some populations have disappeared.
The major threat is agrochemical pollution of waterways, and habitat loss due to smallholder farming activities. It is also collected for medicinal use in Ecuador. Some of the declines appear to have taken place in suitable habitat, so chytridiomycosis cannot be ruled out as a possible threat.
It is not known with certainty if this species occurs in any protected areas, and expanded protection of the remaining montane forest within the range of the species' is recommended. The possible impact of overharvesting for medicinal use, and commercial trade in wild specimens, requires further investigation. It is listed on CITES Appendix II.
This species and Epipedobates anthonyi were recently separated by Schulte (1999). We follow Graham et al. (2004) in restricting the distribution of E. tricolor to central Ecuador.
Luis A. Coloma 2004. Epipedobates tricolor. In: IUCN 2014