Head: Large, as wide at thorax. Main ID: Reddish-brown eyes have a distinct straight line across middle, with squiggly lines throughout the rest of the eye. Face is rough, uneven in profile, dark and sparsely covered with whitish pile on male; eyes touching at top of head before the simple eyes (ocelli). Female face darker, not as much white pile, eyes well separated, dark between.
Antenna: Long, as long as head; yellowish-brown, last joint darker. Joints 2 and 3 about equal length.
Thorax: Segment 1 (scutum) light to dark bronze with sparse covering of lighter hair. 4 pile stripes from base to lower margin. Stripes can appear purple, reddish or white, depending on light. Segment 2 (scutellum or half-moon) rough with indented line or groove across segment. Thorax sides sparsely covered with whitish hair.
Wings: Tinted grayish-brown, with darker areas. Veins and cross-veins much darker, patterned.
Legs: Thighs (femora) dark bronze. Shins (tibiae) lighter, with dark streaks. Feet pale yellowish-red, last segment black.
Abdomen: Bronze, not shiny. Last 2 segments have whitish pile.
Size: 4 to 6 mm.
Habitat: Forests with vernal pools; river, lake and shore edges; ditches.
Food: Adults feed on flower nectar.
Flight Time: June to end of October.
Life Cycle: Most reports from Europe and Georgia, U.S. claim larvae live in wet soil or muck along water sources. Macquart (France) reports they live in wet tree holes. Larvae about 7 mm long, not including tail. Mating pairs photographed in June, July and October. Perhaps they have 2 generations a year.
Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee, Lake Erie Islands, Ojibway. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park. Also Georgian Bay area and Michigan.
Synonyms: Wiedemann 1830
Chrysogaster nitidus, Paragus aeneus, Cryptineura hieroglyphica, Chrysogaster nitida
List of Dipterous Insects in the collection of the British Museum, 1849, Pt. 3 by Walker, pg. 545.
United States National Museum, 1886, Vol. 31, Syrphidae by Williston, pp. 35 to 36.
Ohio State University, 1953: Thesis Syrphidae by Weems, pp. 310 to 311.
Holotype as Paragus aeneus female by Walker, 1849. Type Locality: Ohio. In British National Museum of Natural History, London, England.