The medium-sized, dark brown striped emeralds have some pale markings on the thorax and abdomen, black legs, clear wings and brilliant green eyes. The thorax has a metallic bronze-green sheen and the abdomen is dark metallic black-green. Most species are uncommonly seen, but this may be largely due to their secretive nature. When flying, most species look alike which is why in-hand identifications of their anatomical features are often needed.
The males are unique with a circular gap of appendages seen in side view at end of abdomen. The thorax has 2 yellow lateral stripes, which fade with age. The abdomen is all brown. The face varies in coloration from yellow to brown. Most of the females' wings become tinted brown with age. The body varies from 1.9 to 2.5 inches in length.
Found throughout eastern United States and southeast Canada, this species prefers shady forest waters, from trickles to streams, occasionally boggy and often partly dry. In Wisconsin, it is known from only a few sites in the central part of the state.
In northern part of its range, the flight season is from late June to early September. The peak of the flight season, in Wisconsin, probably occurs in July.