This genus of small, mostly black, low flyers are easy to identify as whitefaces by their white faces with thin short black hairs, small black basal wing spots, and black legs. They are is similar to Sympetrum species in appearance and behavior in some cases. Because species within this genus are similar-looking and change in appearance as they age, careful observation and considerable practice is required to correctly identify both genders of various ages of all species.
The male is black with a white face, red on the thorax, and a black abdomen with some red markings. Females are either yellow form, with yellow spots on the abdomen, or red form, with the spots on the abdomen that turn red. Males could be confused with mature male belted whitefaces, however, they do not have the white on the abdomen. The length of the body varies from 1.3 to 1.4 inches.
This species is common in southern Canada and northern United States. It is usually found at vegetated ponds, lakes, marshes, and bogs. It is widely distributed throughout Wisconsin.
Mid-May to late August in Wisconsin.