This bright greenish dragonfly is generally from 1.8 to 2.1 inches with brown shoulder stripes. At the end of the brownish abdomen, there are some black and yellow markings. The eyes of the males are usually yellow-green to blue-green, browner in females. The female is similar to the male, but with a smaller club and duller abdominal markings. Ophiogomphus species are very similar to each other in some aspects, careful inspection is needed to identify those snaketails.
Common throughout northeastern United States and southernmost Canada, it is usually found at medium to large rapid rivers and streams in a various types of soils. It seems that the rusty snaketail is more tolerant of silt, which can result from disturbances, than other snaketails. Common in Wisconsin, it is widely distributed throughout northern two-thirds of the state.
Late May to late September in Wisconsin.