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Peru, upper Huallaga drainage in San Martin and Loreto departments. Occurs from near Tocache north to the Cordillera Escalera near Tarapoto, and east to Rio Ucayali. Inhabits elevations 180-860 m above sea level. View type locality in Google Maps.
This species, like most other species of Ameerega, lays eggs in the leaf litter and deposits tadpoles in small, non-flowing water bodies. We have found tadpoles of this species in roadside ditches occurring with A. bassleri and Phyllomedusa tomopterna. This species is common in disturbed areas and secondary forest, and can be found most easily right before dusk when males call vigorously. The call is a ‘peep’ repeated at a frequency of around 1 call per second.
Least Concern (LC). This species has a relatively large distribution and is common throughout, even in disturbed habitats. Some of its habitat falls within two national parks.
This species was referred to as A. hahneli for years before a formal revision by Twomey and Brown in 2008. However, prior to this, several researchers had suspected that the Tarapoto populations of “A. hahneli” were, in fact, a distinct species due to their advertisement call which differs dramatically from that of nominal A. hahneli. Roberts et al. (2006) found that these frogs were not even very closely related to A. hahneli, despite being nearly indistinguishable based on morphology alone. Our expeditions in 2006 found a surprising morph of this species, nicknamed the ‘copperback’ morph, which represents the most southerly population of this species. This morph lacks dorsolateral stripes but can be allocated to A. altamazonica through call similarities and phylogenetic affinity.
Sister to A. rubriventris. These two species form a clade sister to A. macero.