This genus of small, mostly black, low flyers are easy to identify as whitefaces by their white faces with thin short black hairs, small black basal wing spots, and black legs. They are is similar to Sympetrum species in appearance and behavior in some cases. Because species within this genus are similar-looking and change in appearance as they age, careful observation and considerable practice is required to correctly identify both genders of various ages of all species.
This species is similar to the frosted whiteface, with the same white pruinose color on the base of the abdomen., except that it is slightly larger and more slender. The male has red on throax to the base of the abdomen that may be difficult to see. This species used to be called red-waisted whiteface, but eastern United States specimens tend to be yellow, not red. In Wisconsin, we are on the dividing line between eastern and western forms, so both color forms occur here. The female is yellow and black with a white stripe on basal parts of the abdomen. Red form females also occur. The length of the body varies from 1.3 to 1.4 inches.
Description of Habitat/Range:
Common in Canada and northern United States, this species is usually found at still bog waters, vegetated ponds and lakes. In Wisconsin, it is most common in northern counties.