Head: Face yellow below antenna. Above antenna solid white on male; two white stripes up inner eye margin on female, light brownish between stripes. Eyes red, hind margins curved at center, covered with white hair.
Antenna: Yellow, slight reddish tint on female.
Thorax: Metallic blackish-bronze. Segment 1 (scutum) has obvious white pile stripe down center; outside edges of segment bordered with a yellow stripe. Segment 2 (scutellum or half-moon) yellow, may be partly covered with brownish pile. Thorax sides dark brown with series of oblong and round yellow spots. Another small yellow spot above front leg.
Wings: Wings very slightly tinted yellowish. Darker yellowish along outside edge (costa), sometimes appears whitish. Stigma brownish-yellow. Halteres yellow.
Legs: Pale yellowish. Hind feet more reddish-yellow; last foot segment brown.
Abdomen: Black with yellow to orangish stripes; stripes ‘bleed’ or coalescence.
Segment 1: Wide yellow stripe across segment.
Segment 2 & 3: Narrow yellow stripe across base of segment. Wide stripe below it. Longitudinal yellow line down center. On male, lower stripe widens each side of center and is interrupted, exposing the complete longitudinal center stripe. Female sometimes has segment 3 wide stripe interrupted at center, like the male.
Segment 4: Stripe on base may be narrow or wide, depending on age, and sometimes becomes whitish. A black T-shaped line below the base stripe, not reaching side edges. Rest of segment yellow, V-shaped.
Segment 5: Entirely yellow.
Size: 7 to 9 mm long.
Habitat: Meadows with tall grasses, farm fields with corn.
Food: Adults and larvae feed on grass and some flower pollen, like goldenrod.
Flight Time: July to September.
Life Cycle: Females lay eggs in flowers of tall grasses like Sorghum species, Big Bluestem Andropogon and Maiden Grass Miscanthus sinensis and corn. Larvae feed on pollen from these flowers and pupate in the flower or seed heads. T. politus is the only Toxomerus that does not feed on aphids.
Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee. Extends to Toronto area.
For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page