Wing length 8.5 - 12mm. A black hoverfly with yellow markings. The face is yellow and the thorax has yellow markings along the sides plus two pale longitudinal stripes and the scutellum is black with a yellow border. The abdomen has yellow bars that curve towards the edge of each segment. The wing veins are dull orange and there is a dark cloud near the stigma.
Grasslands and scrubby margins. The adults feed from flowers, especially umbellifers and thistles, and the larvae feed on ant attended aphids, sometimes pupating in the ant nest.
Status and distribution
Widespread in the south and east of England, not so common further north or west and scarce in Scotland. It is fairly common in Nottinghamshire and was common at Netherfield Lagoons, but has recently declined at the same time as Xanthogramma pedisequum has become more common.
Best time to see
May to September.