Flies constantly. Wing pattern resembles that of some skimmer, but narrow body shape is distinctive. Wings held in a slight dihedral (V) while flying.
Permanent bodies of water: ponds, lakes, slow streams. Somewhat tolerant of muddy water.
March-December in Florida, June to August in northernmost part of range.
Predatory on flying insects. Often feeds high over trees, may form swarms in evening.
Females oviposit in evening. A rope of eggs (up to 50 cm long!) is draped over a stem of emergent vegetation. Males patrol low (or up to 2 m high) over water for hours (or all day) gliding, then flitting wings.
Larger in south, up to 8 cm, as large as a Darner. Typically seen as a male patrolling over a pond. Perches (in evening?) by hanging under twigs.
The southeastern form, regina, is usually larger, more heavily marked, and has a slightly different spot pattern: