This species occurs in the Cochabamba, Chuquisaca, Santa Cruz and Tarija departments in Bolivia. In Argentina, the species occurs in Baritú and Orán, Salta province, and in Calilegua and Tiraxi, Jujuy province. The elevational range is from 700-1,800m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
In Bolivia, it lives in dry forest in Andean valleys, and has been found in very disturbed areas. In Argentina, it occurs in wet montane forests. It can tolerate a small amount of habitat disturbance and can be found in clearings on slopes as well as roadside ditches, but cannot tolerate more intensive habitat modification such as intensive logging or livestock grazing. It is a diurnal and terrestrial species, and an opportunistic extremely explosive breeder. It breeds at the edges of streams (though never in deep water), and also in roadside ditches, and lays its eggs in the water where the tadpoles then also develop. Males call during the day from the water's edge or from within the water.
The breeding activity of this species has been found to be opportunistic throughout a prolonged spring-summer breeding season. The onset and extent of breeding activity is directly influenced by rainfall. Spawning activity follows a pattern of two three-day peaks mostly related to heavy rainfall events. Annual patterns of arrival and length of residence of adults appear to be heavily influenced by the extent of the rainy season (Vaira, 2005).
In Bolivia, it is probably abundant. It is abundant during reproductive bouts in Argentina.
There are no major threats to this species in Bolivia. The major populations in Argentina are all within protected areas.
It occurs in Tariquia Fauna and Flora Reserve in Bolivia. In Argentina, it occurs in Baritú and Calilegua National Parks.
Three subspecies were formerly recognized: Melanophryniscus rubriventris rubriventris; M.r. subconcolor; and M.r. toldosensis. Vaira (2003) proposed the synonymization of these subspecies.
Bolivian populations are in need of taxonomic revision.
Claudia Cortez, Steffen Reichle, Ignacio De la Riva, Jörn Köhler, Esteban Lavilla 2010. Melanophryniscus rubriventris. In: IUCN 2014