At approximately 3.3 inches long it is the largest dragonfly in North America. Because of its large size it is able to take prey larger then other dragonflies. Other large dragonflies, including darners and other clubtails, often fall prey to dragonhunters which typically ambush from above. Even insects like milkweed butterflies, that are toxic to most insects, are not immune to becoming the dragonhunters next meal.
Like most dragonflies the dragonhunter spends the majority of its life as an aquatic nymph. The dragonhunter nymph is different from most other clubtail nymph. Its shape is wide and flat and it spends most of its time camouflaged in leaf litter, rather then burying itself in the sandy bottom like most clubtail nymphs. The dragonhunter will spend around seven years in the water before it is ready to morph into its adult dragon form.