A small ground-dwelling frog attaining a maximum length of 2.5 cm. The upper surface is rarely smooth and normally consists of a number of bumps and longitudinal ridges. The back is usually a combination of browns, black and grey blotches and stripes in a predominantly longitudinal fashion. The belly is granular, and coloured in a black and white (or grey) marbled pattern. Males are generally smaller than females and have a dark border around the chin.
Mating takes place throughout the winter months and into early spring. Breeding may start in autumn in the far south of its range. Males and females stay in amplexus together for one or two nights so the female can lay her full complement of eggs.
The call is a high-pitched wavering 'baaa...baaa...baaa'.
Eggs are laid singly or in small clumps in shallow water towards the edge of soaks, swamps, streams and pools on outcrops. Eggs sink to the bottom and accumulate a fine coating of silt, making them very difficult to see. A female will typically lay 100-200 eggs.
Tadpoles of the bleating and squelching froglets are very similar to each other in appearance and can only be separated reliably by geographic location. The back colour is a mottling of brown and grey with occasional white flecks. The tail tip is broadly rounded. During the day tadpoles rest in the shallows of permanent and temporary water, but will bury themselves in sediment if disturbed. They remain as tadpoles for 3-4 months.
Bleating froglets are known to interbreed with the closely related squelching froglet where their ranges abut (where the Coastal Plain meets the Hills).