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.
This red-brownish dragonfly has amber patches at the bases of the hindwings. Females are similar but lighter in color than the males. There are two female forms: a red form with a red abdomen, and a yellow form with a yellow abdomen. The length of the body varies from 0.9 to 1.2 inches.
Found throughout United States except for southernmost states and southern Canada, this species does not usually occur in large numbers. It is usually found at shallow marshy areas with slow currents. In Wisconsin, it is locally distributed in scattered habitats throughout the state.
Early July to mid-September in Wisconsin.