Endemic to Sri Lanka, genus Adenomus contains two torrent-associated toad species whose ecology and natural history in the wild is virtually unknown. Adenomus kelaartii is relatively common, with a wide geographic distribution. Its sister species, A. kandianus, however, is restricted to two isolated populations in fast-disappearing montane and sub-montane forests. Formally declared extinct after not being recorded for over a century, following several years of surveying, a few A. kandianus were found in 2012 and referred to as "the world's rarest toad." However, tadpoles of A. kandianus bearing unique ventral suckers were soon discovered, but the rarity of the adult and the profusion of tadpoles were never explained. Here, using ecological methods, niche modeling and DNA-barcoding, we aim to understand the ecology, natural history and distribution of this rare toad. Following a two-year study of occurrence, habits and habitat associations of adults and larvae, we show this to be a secretive species with a patchy distribution. During non-mating periods female toads (N = 23) were found in primary forests habitat up to 650 m away from the breeding streams, and predominantly males in the riparian zone (12 males, 2 females). Following heavy rain they form large (N = 388) but patchy mating congregations in torrential streams (six sites; range 0−95 mating pairs; mean = 25, SD = 38.16, CV = 152%). Amplexed pairs swim synchronously, enabling them to traverse fast currents. Egg-laying sites remain unknown, but ability to dive, vocalize underwater, and characteristics of the eggs, suggests that they lay eggs in dark recesses of the stream. Quadrat sampling of tadpoles show microhabitat partitioning (in depth, flow-rate and substrate conditions) within the stream: the greatest diversity of larval developmental stages (25-42) in slow-flowing (depth, 0.75−1.5 m) rocky areas; more robust stages (31−39) bearing sucker discs utilise rocky-rapids (depth, 0.25−0.75 m); metamorphic stages (43-45) use stream margins (depth, <0.25 m); slow flowing silt covered areas of the stream were unoccupied, irrespective of the depth. DNA barcoding of the 16S rRNA gene fragment from the two known localities confirms the identity of the Pedro population also as A. kandianus. The uncorrected pairwise genetic distance of 0.1−0.7% suggests historical gene flow between the two populations. Distribution modeling (using MaxEnt), with forest-cover layers added, predicts a very small remaining area of suitable habitats (an area of occupancy of 16 km2 and an extent of occurrence of 128 km2) isolated by habitats that are not conducive to these toads. While the healthy population recorded at one site gives hope for the survival of the species, long-term conservation of this climatically and ecologically restricted species hinges largely on the preservation of cloud and riparian forests and the unpolluted high-flow torrents.