One of the largest and most robust spreadwings, the length of this species varies from 1.7 to 2.0 inches. The male's thorax is dark green to bluish above with pale yellow sides and dark diagonal lateral streaks that fade with age. The abdomen is dark green above with a pale gray tip when mature. The wings typically have a distinct amber tint. The colors are obscured by pruinosity as the spreadwings age, especially in males. The female's thorax is bronzy with pale yellow sides and a dark diagonal lateral streak. The abdomen is dark green above and pale yellowish below. The wings may have little amber tint or none at all. Similar to the elegant spreadwing, the amber-winged spreadwing is stockier with less green coloration and dark lateral streak on thorax.
This species is found throughout southeast Canada and the northern half of eastern United States. It prefers ponds and small lakes. In Wisconsin, it is widely, though locally, distributed in appropriate habitats.
Early June to mid-August in Wisconsin.