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Small to medium in size, with males reaching 39-55 mm and females 55-71 mm. Snout is rounded. Fingers III, IV, V are fully webbed and bear expanded discs. The outer edge of the hand and forearm have a wide flap of skin. Toes are fully webbed. The heel has a rounded flap of skin. Dorsum is smooth, venter is coarsely granular (Inger and Stuebing 2005). Males have nuptial pads (Harvey et al. 2002).
Dorsum is tan to reddish brown, often with an X-shaped darker marking on the back. Several white spots are often present, with some individuals having yellow or blue spots on the dorsal surfaces. Flanks are yellowish with black spots. Venter is yellowish with orange reticulation. Webbing is orange-red (Inger and Stuebing 2005).
The tadpole has an oval, deep body, with total length reaching up to 45 mm. The tail has a narrow tip. Body is pale light brown. Black spots may be present on the body, or just a single spot on the side of the head. Spotting pattern can resemble that of Rana chalconota, but R. pardalis tadpoles lack white glandular patches on the venter (Inger and Stuebing 2005).