Old descriptions and lack of taxonomic revisions have caused confusion regarding diagnosis and identification of some species of Gonatodes. Gonatodes caudiscutatus (Günther, 1859) was described in the genus Gymnodactylus, based on four specimens (two males and two females) from the western slopes of the Andes, in Ecuador. Later this species was allocated to the genus Gonioductylus and more recently to Gonatodes, but it was never redescribed in a detailed way using the characters presently used to distinguish between species. The species was found in several herpetological collections misidentified as Gonatodes concinnatus and at least some of the records of G. caudiscutatus from Colombia were based on Gonatodes riveroi Sturaro and Avila-Pires, 2011. Herein we redescribe and diagnose Gonatodes caudiscutatus on the basis of 41 specimens from 11 localities in Ecuador, and photos of the syntypes of Gymnodactylus caudiscutatus and Gonatodes collaris, compare the species with its congeners, and present data on its distribution.