Wing length 6 - 9.5mm. The thorax is dark and extremely shiny, and the abdomen is dark with a variable amount of orange bars, which is also the colour of the scutellum. Males generally have less orange markings than the females.
Sunny spots around bushes or hedgerows. Hawthorn is a favourite and the peak of adults coincides with the flowering of this species. The larvae feed on aphids, mostly on trees and shrubs.
Status and distribution
Fairly well distributed through the southern half of Britain, much less common further north. Common in suitable habitat in Nottingham and a regular spring feature at Netherfield Lagoons.
Best time to see
March to August.