Body length 6 - 8mm. The head and most of the thorax are black and the abdomen and legs are orange. The fore-wings have a black stigma. There is another very similar species in this genus, S. melanosterna, but it is almost twice as large and has a long third antennal segment, longer than the three final segments together.
Marshes and waterside vegetation, the larvae feeding on grasses and rushes.
Status and distribution
Widely distributed in Britain but commonest in Wales and the Midlands. Fairly common in Nottinghamshire and at Netherfield Lagoons.
Best time to see
May to August.