The baskettail species that occur in Wisconsin are very similar to each other, requiring in-hand examination to be sure about species identification. They differ primarily in the shape of the terminal appendages and presence or absence of dark markings on the wings. They are medium-sized dragonflies with dark brown bodies and small yellow markings on the sides of the abdomen. There is some disagreement among odonatists as to whether they should be placed in the genus Epitheca or the genus Tetragoneuria.
The black abdomen is constricted just below the base especially in males. The length of the body varies from 1.7 to 1.9 inches. The wings varies in shades from clear to amber-brown, depending on age and gender. For example, the wings of older females are often washed with brown.
This species is commonly found throughout southern Canada and northern United States. It prefers bog ponds, slow streams, and marshy lakes. It is common throughout most of Wisconsin, especially in the north.
Mid-May to late July in Wisconsin. The flight period is similar to the spiny baskettail's.