Head: Face yellow. Female has yellow stripe along inner eye margin, dark between stripes above antenna. Red eyes with hind margin indented and covered with yellowish hair.
Antenna: Yellow to reddish-yellow. Bristle (arista) long, black.
Thorax: Segment 1 (scutum) blackish-bronze with yellow stripe down each side and a yellowish pile stripe down the center. Segment 2 (scutellum or half-moon) can be yellow or sometimes partly covered with black pile. Thorax side dark with series of 3 yellow spots from wing base to front leg.
Wings: Clear, veins dark except for base and outer wing edge (costa) yellowish-orange. Halteres yellowish.
Legs: Pale yellow, dark stripe down hind shin (tibiae); feet brown.
Abdomen: Black with yellow to orange marks. Marks or pattern sometimes ‘bleed’ or coalescence.
Segment 1: Yellow to orange mark across center of segment, may be interrupted at center. Does not touch side edges.
Segments 2 and 3: Wide yellow to orange stripe, covers well over half the length of the segment, broken at center by a yellow-orange longitudinal line. Stripe does not touch side edges.
Segment 4: Yellow-orange oblong spot each side of center leaving a small dark stripe at center.
Tip black. Underside yellow to orange, the side edges usually visible from the top.
Similar Species: Toxomerus geminatus stripes on abdomen segments 2 and 3 are less than half the segment length, extend to side edges and are lobed.
Size: 5 to 6 mm.
Habitat: Meadows, forest edges, urban and farm areas
Food: Adults eat nectar and pollen from flowers.
Flight Time: May to October.
Life Cycle: Females lay eggs on plants with aphids. Larva consume the aphids and pupate in the soil. Many generations per year.
Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee National Park, Lake Erie Islands, Ojibway Prairies. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial park. Widespread in Ontario.
For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page