Flight period: June to October
This species is smaller than the Common Darter. The legs are entirely black. An intense orange colouration can be seen only at the very base of the wings. The pterostigma is brown. There are usually two prominent black marks on S8 and S9.
Male: becomes blood-red with maturity with a red frons and red-brown thorax. There is a very noticeable constriction of the abdomen around S4, giving a club-shaped appearence.
Female: ochre yellow abdomen and thorax. There is no red panel on the side of the thorax. Older females may develop some red along the midline and segment boundaries of the abdomen.