The meadowhawks form a group of small, late-season skimmers that can be difficult to tell apart. The Kalosympetrum subgenus in particular, which includes the ruby, white-faced, cherry-faced, and Jane's meadowhawks, are often difficult to distinguish and their taxonomic status is not in agreement among experts. To identify meadowhawks, notice the coloration of the face, legs, and wing veins in addition to the body. Mature males in all species, except for the black meadowhawk, have red markings, including females in some species.
The brownish male has a complex pattern of pastel hues on its abdomen that includes red in mature males. The female has an orange face and orange abdominal markings. The front edge of the wings are red-orange. The length of the body varies from 1.5 to 1.7 inches.
Usually found at non-moving waters, slow streams, and including ponds, This species is found throughout United States and southern Canada. It is very common in the west. In the east, including Wisconsin, it is migratory.
The flight period is generally from late spring to late fall with two migration peaks. Adults have been documented from late April to early September in less than a dozen scattered counties in Wisconsin.