This small, colorful skimmer is quick and alert. The length of the body varies from 0.8 to 1.0 inches. The thorax generally is brown with short, thin dorsal stripes and yellowish side spots. The abdomen is short and stout with variable patterns, either not striped or with narrow brown stripes. The abdomen for the male has an orange tint to it. The male's wings are tinted amber with yellow veins and red stigmas (near the tips of wings). The female's wings are variable with brown spots and red stigmas. The face is yellowish. The legs are yellowish with black spines.
This species is common throughout eastern and central United States, from Maine to Arizona. Eastern amberwings like permanent still or slowly moving waters such as ponds, lakes, ditches, and stream pools, but not bogs. It is widely distributed and fairly common throughout much of Wisconsin.
Mid-June to late August in Wisconsin.