The creature is small (usually about 1/2 inch). The color is olive, dark gray, reddish brown, or nearly black with a dark mottled belly. The skin is smooth, without warts or ridges. The legs are stubby and the toes have no webbing or toe pads.
Its preferred habitat is open, moist areas with abundant ground cover. They breed in temporary or permanent waters such as ponds, lakes, swamp edges, marshy fields, and roadside ditches.
This is one of the few amphibians that feeds regularly on ants. The fold of skin on its head is used to push ants away from the eyes. Outside of the breeding season it is found in rotten stumps and beneath rocks, logs, bark, and other objects on the ground.
These frogs are weak jumpers that move by short, rapid hops.
In the breeding season, the male usually calls from the edge of water, concealed under plant debris. His call is a high-pitched buzz or "baaa" reminiscent of a distressed lamb. When the male amplexes the female, a sticky substance is secreted from glands on his belly that glues him temporarily to her back. Females lay over 800 tiny eggs in one layer on the water surface. Embryos hatch in a few days and tadpoles transform in 20-70 days.