With adaptations for two apparently distinct lifestyles, the painted burrowing frog is known mainly for its underground lifestyle, and is thought to climb only to escape drowning in flash floodwater by finding small holes to rest in within the canyon walls of its habitat. Despite its webbed hind feet, the painted burrowing frog is a poor swimmer.
The tadpoles hatch in temporary rock pools and are thought to undergo metamorphosis relatively quickly since they must avoid being washed away by sudden heavy rains (2). Tadpoles feed upon the detritus they found in the sand of the small pools where they live. During the night they become very active, and occupy the whole water column (5). Adults consume insects (4).