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This frog has a gray-brown to tan dorsum, a white ventrum, and a deep purple groin. There is a poorly distinguished black mask around its eyes. (Guyer and Donnelly 2005). Smilisca sordida has weak crossbands on its back legs, as well as dark spots on the head and back (Leenders 2001). The posterior of the thigh is deep purple with small blue, green or tan flecks. Breeding males have a white vocal sac (Duellman 2001). This species has a yellowish brown iris with black net-like veins (Guyer and Donnelly 2005).
Humid lowland and montane forest in the vicinity of rocky streams where it reproduces. It can tolerate substantial disturbance of its habitat, and is found in plantations and urban areas.