This dull brown dragonfly has two pale lateral stripes on shoulders. The ashy clubtail varies from 1.9 to 2.2 inches in length. The black-brown abdomen is very slender, barely clubbed in males, and has very little yellow markings. The hind thighs vary from pale to dark, pale brown in most cases. The shins also are pale. The face occasionally has cross-lines. The eyes are pale gray to brown or deep violet, especially for females. Clubtail species are very similar to each other in some aspects, careful inspection is needed to identify them.
It is commonly found throughout eastern United States and some parts of Canada. This species prefers gently flowing steams or on lakeshores that are wave-beaten, sometimes found at trout streams. In Wisconsin, it is widely distributed throughout northern two-thirds of the state.
Late May to mid-August in Wisconsin.