A moderately large ground-dwelling frog with a stout rounded body and short limbs. The back is uniform ("inornate") chocolate brown, sometimes with a ruddy hue, while the flanks may be lightly mottled with grey or yellow. Maximum size is about 6.5 cm. Male whooping frogs possess 1-3 small black spines on the thumbs. These are used for gripping the flanks of the female during mating.
The male of this species excavates a deep burrow in low lying areas which become inundated after autumn and winter rains. Males call from within the burrow to attract females after which eggs are deposited in a foamy nest at the bottom of the burrow in damp soil. Rising water levels of swamps and creeks caused by winter rains eventually flood the burrows allowing the newly developed tadpoles to wiggle free of the egg mass and swim out of the burrow. Males only call for a month or so after the first rains in autumn.
A call of 'whoop' repeated 4-5 times in rapid succession.
The egg masses of this species are white and foamy. As many as 200 eggs may be laid in each mass.
Tadpoles grow up to 6 cm in length. The body is entirely black with the tail almost three times the length of the body with narrow fins. Tadpoles may be found in flooded burrows during early stages of development. Eventually they are washed in to larger water bodies where they are usually located on the bottom close to aquatic vegetation which they use for cover when disturbed. Development time is from 2-3 months, occasionally longer.
One of five species of Heleioporus in the southwest.