This is a small to medium sized, unspotted frog with a black mask on the cheek and extending through the eye. The dorsal color is from tan to almost black. The cheek patch is black or dark brown, and nearly always discernible. This species breeds from March to April. The eggs are deep chocolate brown in color above and whitish beneath. This species is rarely found far from forest cover and is often found in caves. The voice is a hoarse clacking sound suggestive of a duck, and they are often heard calling before the ice is completely off but are usually silent after breeding season.
This species is usually found in or near moist woods. They hibernate under leaves or logs in woodlands among leaves. The eggs are usually deposited near the shore of a shallow pond. They prefer shade and will breed at 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
They feed on beetles and flies.