This small dragonfly is commonly seen from June to September around ponds as well as in the gardens and prairie of the BFEC. Males are distinguished by their stout bodies and amber colored wings. The reddish spots near the tip of the wings is known as a stigma. Females are similar in shape but their wings are generally clear with a basal streak, a small spot on the lower third of the wing, and a larger spot near the middle of the wing. There is some amber tinting confined to the leading edge of the wing.
Young amberwings spend their time away from water in fields and gardens. Unlike larger dragonflies, amberwings are weak fliers. It has been suggested that the size and behavior of amberwings makes them wasp mimics. When perched, the wings and abdomens are moved up and down in the same manner as wasps. Females fly with the abdomen elevated in the same manner wasps do.