This species is known only from Tanti, and the vicinity of San Francisco de Las Pampas, at about 600-1,800m asl, in west-central Ecuador (Coloma 1995). The type locality, Tanti, is a farm on the highway midway between Santo Domingo de los Colorados and Alluriqu’n.
Habitat and Ecology
This species inhabits very humid premontane forest (Coloma 1995). There is no information about its breeding habits, although the larvae presumably develop in streams.
The population status of this species is not known.
The major threats to its habitat include agricultural development (both for the cultivation of crops and the rearing of livestock), and logging.
Further taxonomic work is required to determine the validity of this species: a more exhaustive comparison, or fresh specimens from the type locality, are needed in order to assess the taxonomic status of this species, E. erythromos (with which it might be conspecific), and the specimens from San Francisco de Las Pampas.
The assignment of the specimens from San Francisco de Las Pampas to this species is tentative, but is justified by the absence of significant differences between the original description of Hyloxalus whymperi and these specimens. Ameerega erythromos (Vigle and Miyata 1980) is similar to H. whymperi and might be conspecific. However, comparison of A. erythromos and the type specimen of H. whymperi is complicated due to the bad preservation of the holotype of H. whymperi; differences in ventral color patterns might be a preservation artifact. Comparison of A. erythromos and the specimens from San Francisco de Las Pampas reveal that they are not conspecific.
Luis A. Coloma, Santiago Ron, Mario Yánez-Muñoz, Diego Cisneros-Heredia, Ana Almendáriz 2004. Hyloxalus whymperi. In: IUCN 2014