The spotted spreadwing male has a thorax with black above and spots on lower part. The abdomen is mostly black with a blue-gray tip. The female has a dark brown thorax with pale shoulder stripes and pale gray sides. The abdomen is dark above and pale brown to gray on sides. The male is usually elongated with the female more sturdy.The length of the body varies from 1.2 to 1.7 inches. Both sexes have dark spots on the lower part of the thorax, darker than the sweetflag spreadwing. The colors are obscured by pruinosity as the spreadwings age, especially in males. The legs are long and slender. It is very similar to the northern spreadwing. It also has some characteristics in common with the lyre-tipped spreadwing. Under magnification, it is easily separated from other spreadwings by the shape of the terminal appendages.
This species is common throughout Canada and United States. It is usually found at a variety of wetlands, including ponds, slow streams, swamps, and lakeshores. It is a common late-season damselfly in northern Wisconsin.
Early July to late October in Wisconsin.