In the wild, H. boettgeri occurs in shady still water in lowland rainforest. It is a fully aquatic frog, meaning it spends its entire life underwater. Although, like all frogs, it has lungs and must surface to breathe.
Their color varies, generally ranging from brown to greenish, with black spots; with their undersides being lighter. They evolved these colors from their habit of spending most of their time at the bottom of the water body.