Wing length 8 - 13mm. A fairly large hoverfly with a tapered abdomen, most obvious in the male. The main body colour is dark brown but there are triangular orange marks on either side of the first segment of the abdomen. There are several broods in a year and individuals from earlier broods often have dark wing clouds. They can be told from similar species because they have yellowish tarsi on the middle and front legs.
The adults can be seen coming to flowers in gardens and hedgerows. The rat-tailed larvae are found in muddy pools with plenty of decaying organic matter in them.
Status and distribution
Widespread in Britain and can be locally abundant. Common on the reserve.
Best time to see
March to November.