The riffle snaketail male has a greenish thorax with black shoulder and thoracic stripes. The length of the body varies from 1.6 to 1.8 inches. The female is similar to male, but with paler coloration. The legs are usually black, in some cases thighs can have pale green stripes. The abdomen is usually black with pale green markings with dorsal stripes and some spots at the end of the abdomen. The eyes can vary from green to pale blue. Ophiogomphus species are very similar to each other in some aspects, careful inspection is needed to identify those snaketails.
Found throughout northeastern United States and southeastern Canada, the riffle snaketails prefer woodland streams and rivers that are clear, fast-moving, and with sand or rocks. Uncommon in Wisconsin, it is widespread throughout northern Wisconsin.
Late May to mid-August in Wisconsin.