Adult length: 6-8.5 in.: color is an overall brown with lighter brown and black speckling; legs are short with four-toed feet; external gills look like feathery appendages on either side of their heads; tail is paddle-shaped and flattened. Sexually mature males can be distinguished by the swollen cloaca and pair of enlarged cloacal papillae that project posteriorly. Hatchlings are mottled with a few light spots dorsally. Older larvae generally resemble adults in shape and color pattern. An abrupt metamorphosis does not occur.