Males exhibit some silver on their bodies. Both sexes can measure longer than 2"; width (including wingspans) is closer to 4". Wings are transparent. The abdomen have a multicolored pattern that repeats on each abdominal segment. Their jaws are large enough for a human to feel its pinch. While darners are disinterested in humans, if handled they may bite.
Darners mate in flight. A males places a sperm packet on his abdomen and, once joined in flight, a female will pick it up off of him and use it to fertilize her eggs, which she has attached to vegetation near water. Females then place fertilized eggs in warm, slow moving waters like ponds, swamps, creeks and small streams. Once hatched, the naiads live in the water, feeding on small aquatic insects, tadpoles and even small fish if they are able to catch them. After a few years, once the naiad is fully grown, it crawls out of the water (usually at night) and sheds its 'skin' allowing the adult to emerge and fly away.