A rather small and subtle species, the body is a matted black, with a metallic bronze luster, while the thorax is deep green. The yellow spots on the head are not fused to form a horseshoe. Typical for females is the pair of yellow spots on the flanks, which are also visible from above. The male has an elongated, narrow abdomen. In addition, it also sports a lighter, clearly visible band behind the head. Among domestic species, it is most likely to be confused with the Alpine Emerald – in addition to the similar coloration, the two species are also found at similar sites. The Northern Emerald can be spotted at raised moors in the mountains, but also at moderate and lower altitudes.