Chalcorana raniceps is of medium size. Male are approx. 30 mm, females usually 38 mm. This species inhabits a broad range of lowland primary and good secondary rainforest habitats.
C. raniceps is a small green frog, sometimes with brown back. The snout is long and pointed. Finger and toe tips bear adhesive disks. The underside of the thigh may be reddish.
It is very similar to C. megalonesa, but is significantly smaller in both sexes.
It can be confused with Odorrana hosii, but this species differs from chalconota in full webbing of the longest toe, and absence of outer metatarsal tubercle.
This species reproduces in ponds, intermittant streams, or quiet side pools of streams. Usually small groups of males call from twigs and vegetation 0.5 to 1.5 m above the ground. Occasionally congregations of many males can be seen at reproduction sites.
The tadpoles are conspicous. They have dark markings and shining red gills on light brown to yellow background. This might be the least shy tadpole of all species and can be seen even during daytime. It is presumably poisonous (note patches of skin glands).