Tadpoles are moderately sized and can reach 30 mm in length. They have a robust body, anteroventral mouth, dorsolateral nostrils, dorsolateral eyes, lateral spiracle, and a rounded tail tip (Savage 2002).
Smilisca phaeota is capable of changing color. It can change the color of its upper surface to tan or green. They are usually tan during the day and change to green during the night (Leenders 2001). Similar species include:1) Smilisca baudinii, which differs from S. phaeota by the former's lack of reticulate flanks and white stripes on the lip, forearm, and leg. 2)Smilisca puma, which is smaller and has little or no webbing (Savage 2002).
A Spanish-language species account can be found at the website of Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio).
- Guyer, C. (2005). Amphibians and Reptiles of La Selva, Costa Rica, and the Carribean slope. University of California Press, Berkeley.
- Guyer, C., and Donnelly, M. A. (2005). Amphibians and Reptiles of La Selva, Costa Rica and the Caribbean Slope: A Comprehensive Guide. University of California Press, Berkeley.
- Leenders, T. (2001). A Guide to Amphibians And Reptiles of Costa Rica. Zona Tropical, Miami.
- Savage, J. M. (2002). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica. University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London.