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.
This whiteface is the smallest of the whitefaces and is most extensively colored on the abdomen with red (males) or yellow (females or tenerals). Females occur in two color forms. The abdomen of the yellow form female is black with yellow markings. The red form females would have red spots on the abdomen. The length of the body varies from 1.1 to 1.3 inches.
It is common in southern Canada and northern United States. It is usually found at vegetated ponds, sloughs, sand-bottom lakes, bogs and fens. In Wisconsin, it is frequently found in appropriate habitats throughout the northern two-thirds of the state.
Early May to late August in Wisconsin.