This species is endemic to Borneo where it is known only from the type locality (Gunung Mulu National Park) in northern Sarawak, Malaysia; however, it might occur a little more widely. It has an altitudinal range of 65-1,200m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
All known specimens have been found in primary rainforest in limestone karst areas. The larvae are endotrophic and occur in small pools on the forest floor.
The population status and abundance of the species is not known.
It is not certain whether this species is entirely restricted to karst areas, but, if so, then its distribution is likely to be extremely patchy and localized, thereby exposing this species to the hazards of stochastic events.
The only known locality for the species is protected in Gunung Mulu National Park, a 52,000-ha park that is the most studied tropical karst area in the world. Further survey work is requried to determine the current population status of the species at this locality, and whether it might be present in other karst areas of Borneo.
Robert Inger, Indraneil Das, Robert Stuebing, Maklarin Lakim, Paul Yambun 2004. Pelophryne api. In: IUCN 2014