Small stocky frog with a short head. Males attain a snout-vent length of up to 36 mm, whereas females grow up to 42 mm. The eyes are large and have a vertical slit-shaped pupil. Parotoid glands are small, and the tympanum is clearly visible. One or two rows of small, often reddish warts are present on the upper eyelids. The skin is warty, and a row of large warts extends from the tympanum to the groin area. Other large gland complexes are present on the underarms and the ankles. There are two metacarpal tubercles. The limbs are shorter than in other species of Alytes. The coloration is usually brownish with more or less pronounced dark spots. Warts are mostly red in color. The eyes are often connected with a light colored band. The underside is an unspotted dirty white (Noellert and Noellert 1992).
Males are smaller than females. Other features that distinguish males and females are: distance between nostrils, head width, lower jaw length, vertical diameter of tympanum and tibia-fibula length. These variables should be corrected for the size of the animal (Bosch and Marquez 1996).
- Bosch, J. and Marquez, R. (1996). ''Discriminant functions for the sex identification in two midwife toads (Alytes obstetricans and A. cisternasii).'' Herpetological Journal, 6, 105-109.
- Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
- Honegger, R. E. (1981). Threatened Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft, Wiesbaden.
- Marquez, R. and Verrell, P. (1990). ''The courtship and mating of the Iberian midwife toad Alytes cisternasii (Amphibia: Anura: Discoglossidae).'' Journal of Zoology, London, (225), 125-139.
- NÃ¶llert, A. and NÃ¶llert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
- Stumpel-Rieks, S. E. (1992). Nomina Herpetofaunae Europaeae. AULA-Verlag, Wiesbaden.