The baskettail species that occur in Wisconsin are very similar to each other, requiring in-hand examination to be sure about species identification. They differ primarily in the shape of the terminal appendages and presence or absence of dark markings on the wings. They are medium-sized dragonflies with dark brown bodies and small yellow markings on the sides of the abdomen. There is some disagreement among odonatists as to whether they should be placed in the genus Epitheca or the genus Tetragoneuria.
The body varies from 1.7 to 1.8 inches in length. The black abdomen is constricted just below the base especially in males. This dark brown dragonfly is generally larger than the common baskettail, with almost no markings on the wings.
Commonly found at ponds, slow streams, and marshy lakes, this species seems to prefer slow moving acidic waters. It is found throughout northern United States and southern Canada. It is commonly found throughout most of Wisconsin, especially in the north.
Mid-May to late August in Wisconsin.