This species ranges from eastern Honduras (Caribbean slopes) and from southern Costa Rica (Pacific versant) south to northern Colombia (western slopes of the Cordillera Occidental, eastern slopes of the Cordillera Central, and the Magdalena Valley), and northwestern Ecuador. There are isolated populations on the eastern slopes of the Cordillera Oriental of Colombia, extending into adjacent Venezuela in the Sierra de Perijá. It occurs from sea level up to 1,300m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It is a nocturnal, leaf-litter species of primary tropical moist forest and submontane humid forest, along small streams and large rivers, but can be found away from these sites during the non-breeding season. It occurs in disturbed areas, but only close to forest. It breeds in rocky pools along the borders of forest streams (Scott, 1983).
This species is generally abundant in Costa Rica, although it disappeared from Monteverde in the late 1980s (Pounds et al. 1997). It has declined in the Reserva Forestal Fortuna, Chiriquí, Panama. The species is relatively common in Nicaragua, but uncommon in Honduras. This species shows distinct population fluctuations. It is a rare species in Colombia and Venezuela but there are several recent records.
The main threats are habitat destruction and degradation due to agriculture, wood extraction, and cattle ranching. It is locally threatened by dams in Venezuela and by oil pollution in Colombia. Chytrid fungus was detected in this species in Chiriqui, Fortuna, Panama.
It occurs in several protected areas throughout its range.
The form occurring in the Cordillera Oriental of Colombia might be Rhaebo guttatus (J.V. Rueda pers. comm.).
Solís, F., Ibáñez, R., Jaramillo, C., Chaves, G., Bolaños, F., Savage, J., Cruz, G., Wilson, L.D., Köhler, G., Coloma, L.A., Ron, S.R., García-Pérez, J.E. & Amézquita, A. 2008. Rhaebo haematiticus. In: IUCN 2014