This species is known from the Atlantic slopes of the Cordillera Central and the Cordillera de Talamanca in Costa Rica and western Panama (at 910-1,450m asl) and the Pacific slope of south-western Panama (at 1,200-1,400m asl) (Savage 2002).
Habitat and Ecology
An arboreal species of the lower reaches of cloud forest. It is associated with low dense vegetation overhanging small montane streams (less than 1m above the water). Tadpoles develop in these streams, adhering to rocks (Savage 2002).
It is now a rare species (Savage 2002). The Costa Rican population has declined dramatically, and it might now be extinct in this country. A dramatic decline was documented in the Reserva Forestal Fortuna, Chiriquí, in Panama, and the most recent record from this country is from the Bosque Protector Palo Seco, on the highlands of Bocas del Toro, in 1998.
The decline in Costa Rica and in the Reserva Forestal Fortuna, Panama, is probably due to chytridiomycosis, and this is likely to be the most serious threat to the species. It is probably also impacted by habitat loss as a result of agriculture, logging, and human settlement.
This species has been recorded from three protected areas in Panama, and two in Costa Rica. Further survey work is required to determine the population status of this species. In view of the threat of chytridiomycosis, ex-situ populations might need to be established.
This species was previously included in the genus Hyla but has recently been moved to the new genus Isthmohyla (Faivovich et al. 2005).
Solís, F., Ibáñez, R., Chaves, G., Savage, J., Jaramillo, C., Fuenmayor, Q. & Bolaños, F. 2008. Isthmohyla debilis. In: IUCN 2014