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.
Males of this small black dragonfly have white faces and a single yellow dorsal dot on the 7th segment of the abdomen. The immature whitefaces have yellow marking on the thorax. The female has yellow markings on the abdomen with the same prominent, square dorsal spot on the 7th segment. The body varies from 1.1 to 1.3 inches in length.
This species is common in southern Canada and United States, except for the southern United States. It is usually found at vegetated ponds, lakes, and slow waters. It is common in farm-ponds.The dot-tailed whiteface is distributed widely and often abundantly throughout Wisconsin.
Mid-May to late August in Wisconsin.