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This species has the unusual situation where males (50mm) are larger than females (40mm) and the males have noticeably much broader heads than the females. They are an olive green to almost black above and often have some dark flecking, splotching and/or variegations on the back. There are also sometimes warts on this skin and some females from upland areas of northern NSW have a mid-dorsal stripe. Males have a black belly with white spots whereas females have a belly with black and white marbled. The rest of the underside is dark with some white spotting. Both sexes have orange to red patches in the groin, the thighs and even down to the feet. Both males and females have two pseudo-dentary teeth sticking up from the tip of the lower jaw and these tusks give the species its common name. The tusks are somewhat larger in the males and are thought to be used mainly in territorial encounters when looking for or holding on to calling sites. Males in captivity have been observed to "lock jaws" by grabbing each others mouths.
This frog is reasonably distinguishable from all other Australian frogs by the combination of the orange or red patches in the groin and on the thigh and the presence of the black and white belly. Pseudophryne toadlets have the black and white belly, but not the patches. Uperoleia toadlets have the groin and thigh patches, but not the black and white belly.