This genus was erected by Brown & Twomey et al. (2011) for species in the minuta group sensu Twomey & Brown (2008). This includes the most of the species belonging to Myers’ (1987) Minyobates minus steyermarki. In a sense, the description of Andinobates is a return to an older taxonomic convention, with the diminutive Andean species belonging to a genus distinct from the Amazonian Ranitomeya.
As far as is known, species in Andinobates have vertebrae 2 and 3 fused; a synapomorphy for the group. In addition, this genus can be diagnosed from its sister genus Ranitomeya by its lack of limb reticulation (limb reticulation present in most species of Ranitomeya). This genus is distributed throughout lower Central America, Chocoan Colombia, and the western slopes of the Colombian Andes. Andinobates abditus occurs on the eastern side of the Andes on the flank of Volcan Reventador in Ecuador; however, Almendariz et al (2012) suggest, on the basis of adult coloration and larval morphology, that A. abditus is most likely a member of Excidobates.