Head: Face reddish-yellow; greatly extended outward at mouth area (like Lejops). Eyes reddish-brown with short thick, yellowish pile. Male eyes touching down entire top of head. Tiny simple eyes (ocelli). Females have wide reddish-yellow area between eyes.
Antenna: Reddish-yellow; 3rd joint very long; bristle (arista) twice as long as 3rd joint, with short feathered hairs.
Thorax: Metallic greenish to bluish with black pile. Females may sometimes appear more brownish-green. Segment 1 (scutum) sometimes has base and sides slightly yellowish. About 10 to 12 black bristles along side edges. Segment 2 (scutellum or half-moon) same colour, sometimes with yellowish pile around edges on the female; also both male and female with black bristles. Thorax sides covered with yellowish-brown pile.
Wings: Clear (hyaline) with a dark spot midway on outer edge (cost). Veins reddish-yellow.Calypters (secondary wings or squamae) are transparent, yellow to orange-red, very thick and unusually large; visible near scutellum.
Legs: Variable, black to reddish-brown with lighter areas, black short hair. Feet usually dark.
Abdomen: Metallic greenish to bluish, base mid area paler to yellow; pile yellowish-white.
Underside has base segments yellow, rest reddish-brown.
Similar Species: Copestylum barei has black pile on abdomen.
Size: 8.5 to 11 mm.
Habitat: Forest edges and meadows.
Food: Adults feed on flowers, sometimes in swarms at dusk on shrubs such as Buttonbush Cephalanthus occidentalis and Dogwoods.
Flight Time: June and July.
Life Cycle: Unknown. Attracted to lights.
Comments: Essex County – photos. Georgian Bay, Pinery at Grand Bend.
Synonyms: Curran 1947
Phalacromya vesicularium, Volucella vesicularia, Volucella vesicularia
United States National Museum, 1886, Vol. 31: Syrphidae by Williston, pg. 141.
American Museum Novitates, 1947, #1361 by Curran, pp. 3 to 6.
Ohio State University, 1953: Syrphidae by Weems, pp. 38, 350 (keys), 353 to 354.
Entomological News, 1963, Vol. 74: Crepuscular flower visits of adult Volucella vesicularia Curran (Diptera, Syrphidae) by Waldbaurer, pp. 135 to 136.
Holotype as Volucella vesicularia, male by Curran, 1947. Type Locality: New York. In the American Museum of Natural History, New York.